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DS  916  .M2 

Mackenzie,  Frederick  Arthur 
1869-1931 . 

The  tragedy  of  Korea 


Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 
in  2016 


https://archive.org/details/tragedyofkoreaOOmcke 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Photograph  by ] 


. - 

[F.  A.  McKenzie. 


A KOREAN  IN  OLD-STYLE  DRESS. 


THE 


TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


v/BY 

F.  A.  McKENZIE 

AUTHOR  OF  “ THE  UNVEILED  EAST,”  “ FROM  TOKYO 
TO  TIFLIS,”  ETC, 


WITH  TWENTY-SEVEN  ILLUSTRATIONS 


E.  P.  DUTTON  & CO. 

31  West  Twenty-third  Street 

NEW  YORK 


UNWIN  BROTHERS,  LIMITED,  THE  GRESHAM  PRESS,  WOKING  AND  LONDON. 


PREFACE 


I HAVE  to  tell  the  story  of  the  awakening  and 
the  destruction  of  a nation.  My  narrative,  save 
for  a few  introductory  pages,  covers  a period  of  less 
than  thirty  years,  and  the  greater  part  of  it  has  to  do 
with  events  that  have  happened  since  King  Edward 
came  to  the  throne.  The  brief  and  tragic  history  of 
modern  Korea  has  been  linked  to  great  international 
developments.  It  gave  excuse  for  the  opening  moves 
of  what  promises  to  be  the  main  world-conflict  of  the 
twentieth  century — the  struggle  between  an  aroused 
China  and  an  ambitious  Japan.  It  afforded  a reason 
for  the  Mikado’s  declaration  of  war  against  Russia. 
It  supplies  us  to-day  with  a touchstone  by  which  we 
can  test  the  sincerity  of  the  Japanese  professions  of 
justice,  peace,  and  fair  play. 

No  unbiassed  observer  can  deny  that  Korea  owes 
the  loss  of  her  independence  mainly  to  the  corruption 
and  weakness  of  her  old  national  administration.  It 
is  equally  true  that  the  Japanese  policy  on  the 
peninsula  has  been  made  more  difficult  by  the 
intrigues  and  obstinacy  of  the  old  Court  party. 
Yet,  when  all  hindrances  have  been  allowed  for, 


vi  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

those  of  us  who  have  witnessed  the  acts  follow- 
ing the  Japanese  occupation  of  the  land  own  to  a 
sense  of  grievous  disappointment.  Affairs  have  now 
reached  a stage  when  there  comes  a question  of  the 
duty  of  the  British  people  in  the  matter.  I,  for 
one,  am  convinced  that  we  owe  it  to  ourselves 
and  to  our  ally,  Japan,  to  let  it  be  clearly  known 
that  a policy  of  Imperial  expansion  based  upon 
breaches  of  solemn  treaty  obligations  to  a weaker 
nation,  and  built  up  by  odious  cruelty,  by  needless 
slaughter,  and  by  a wholesale  theft  of  the  private 
property  rights  of  a dependent  and  defenceless 
peasantry,  is  repugnant  to  our  instincts  and  cannot 
fail  to  rob  the  nation  that  is  doing  it  of  much  of 
that  respect  and  goodwill  with  which  we  all  so 
recently  regarded  her. 

Many  of  the  doings  related  in  this  book  came 
under  my  own  purview : some  chapters,  more  par- 
ticularly the  description  of  the  scenes  in  the  rebellion 
of  1907,  are  direct  individual  narrative.  Wherever 
possible,  I have  elected  to  support  my  own  account 
and  conclusions  by  the  evidence  of  other  witnesses. 
In  the  case  of  the  recent  rebellion,  my  readers  must 
rely  mainly  on  my  personal  observations,  as  I was,  at 
the  time  when  I made  my  journey,  the  only  white 
man  to  have  travelled  through  those  districts  during 
the  fighting.  I am  indebted  to  many  who  played 
a prominent  part  in  the  events  here  recorded  for 
their  kind  and  generous  assistance  and  advice. 


F.  A.  MCKENZIE. 


CONTENTS 

PAGE 

PREFACE  ..*••••  v 

CHAPTER  I 

THE  HERMIT  KINGDOM  .....  I 

CHAPTER  II 

QUEEN  V.  REGENT  . . • ■ • -13 

CHAPTER  III 

THE  COMING  OF  THE  FOREIGNER  ...  25 

CHAPTER  IV 

THE  CHINO-JAPANESE  CONFLICT  . . . -37 

CHAPTER  V 

THE  MURDER  OF  THE  QUEEN  . . . . 5* 

vii 


viii  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

CHAPTER  VI 

PAGE 

AFTER  THE  MURDER  . . . . .67 

CHAPTER  VII 

THE  ESCAPE  OF  THE  KING  ....  76 

CHAPTER  VIII 

THE  RUSSIAN  REGIME  . . . . .89 

CHAPTER  IX 

THE  RE-ENTRY  OF  JAPAN  ....  98 

CHAPTER  X 

THE  BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  , . . 108 

CHAPTER  XI 

TREATY-MAKING  AND  TREATY-BREAKING  . . 130 

CHAPTER  XII 

THE  RULE  OF  PRINCE  ITO  . . . . . 142 

CHAPTER  XIII 


THE  ABDICATION  OF  YI  HYEUNG 


156 


CONTENTS 


IX 


CHAPTER  XIV 

PAGE 

THE  CROWNING  OF  THE  PUPPET  EMPEROR  . . 163 

CHAPTER  XV 

A JOURNEY  TO  THE  “RIGHTEOUS  ARMY”  . . 168 

CHAPTER  XVI 

THE  STRONG  HAND  OF  JAPAN  . . . .185 

CHAPTER  XVII 

THE  RUINS  OF  CHEE-CHONG  . . . . 191 

CHAPTER  XVIII 

WITH  THE  REBELS  . . . . . .197 

CHAPTER  XIX 

THE  SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  . . 209 

CHAPTER  XX 

THE  PROSPECTS  FOR  FOREIGN  TRADE  . . ' . 241 

CHAPTER  XXI 


THE  WIDER  VIEW 


250 


X THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

APPENDICES 

1.  The  Trial  of  Viscount  Miura 

2.  Treaties  Relating  to  Korea 

Japan- Korean,  1876. 

American-Korean,  1882-3. 

British-Korean,  1883. 

Convention  between  China  and  Japan,  1885. 
Treaty  of  Shimonoseki,  1895. 
Russo-Japanese  Agreement,  1896. 

Anglo- Japanese  Alliances. 

Korea  at  the  Portsmouth  Conference. 

Japan- Korean  Treaties,  1904-7. 


PAGE 

. 263 
269 


3.  Petition  from  the  Koreans  of  Hawaii  . 


■ 311 


ILLUSTRATIONS 


a KOREAN  IN  old-style  dress  . . . Frontispiece 

FACING  PAGE 

A VILLAGE  IDOL  . . . . . .II 

GESANG,  THE  GEISHA  OF  KOREA  . . . . .29 

JAPANESE  INFANTRY  ON  THE  WARPATH  ...  39 

A GATEWAY  OF  CHONG-JU  . . . . -SO 


THE  COURTYARD  OF  THE  OLD  PALACE  IN  SEOUL,  FORSAKEN 
AFTER  THE  MURDER  OF  THE  QUEEN  ; WITH  WEEDS 


GROWING  BETWEEN  THE  STONES  ...  70 

THE  AUTHOR’S  “NUMBER  ONE  BOY,”  WITH  WIFE  AND  CHILD  82 

SOLDIERS  OF  THE  OLD  KOREAN  ARMY,  AROUND  THE  PALACE, 

SEOUL  . .....  . 86 

THE  PASSING  OF  THE  OLD — A RUINED  GATEWAY  IN  SOUTH- 
EASTERN KOREA  ......  98 

JAPANESE  TROOPS  DETRAINING  TO  ATTACK  KOREAN  REBELS  . I04 
THE  APPEAL  TO  THE  CROSS,  YAN-GUN  . . . II4 

PUNISHMENT  IN  KOREA  UNDER  THE  JAPANESE  ADMINISTRA- 


TION ; PRISONERS — MEN  AND  A WOMAN — OUT  OF  ONE 
CELL,  PING-YANG  . . . . . . Il8 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


xii 

FACING  PAGE 


PUNISHMENT  IN  KOREA  UNDER  THE  JAPANESE  ADMINISTRA- 
TION ; PRISONERS  IN  SUN-CHON  . . . 120 

PRINCE  ITO  .......  142 

A JAPANESE  RAILWAY  GUARD  ON  THE  SEOUL-FUSAN  LINE  . 150 

THE  EX-EMPEROR,  EMPEROR  AND  CROWN  PRINCE  OF  KOREA, 

WITH  PALACE  EUNUCHS  . . . . . 156 

AN  OUTPOST  OF  KOREAN  REBELS  . . . 1 72 

THE  STRONG  HAND  OF  JAPAN — THE  REMAINS  OF  A VILLAGE 

INN  ........  182 

IN  THE  WAKE  OF  THE  JAPANESE  ARMY — A BURNT-OUT  TOWN 

OF  KOREA  .......  188 


THE  STRONG  HAND  OF  JAPAN — A MOTHER  MOURNING  HER 
TEN-YEAR-OLD  DAUGHTER  SHOT  BY  THE  JAPANESE 
SOLDIERS  .......  193 

THE  STRONG  HAND  OF  JAPAN — THE  CHIEF  THOROUGHFARE 

OF  CHEE-CHONG  BURNT  DOWN  BY  THE  JAPANESE  TROOPS  I94 


VILLAGE  DESTROYED  BY  THE  JAPANESE  ARMY  . . 198 

A COMPANY  OF  KOREAN  REBELS  .....  206 
MR.  E.  T.  BETHF.LL,  EDITOR  OF  THE  KOREA  DAILY  NEWS  212 

JOURNALISM  IN  KOREA — A GROUP  OF  SUB-EDITORS  . 220 

JOURNALISM  IN  KOREA — THE  COMPOSITORS’  ROOM  OF  A 

DAILY  PAPER  .......  230 

JAPANESE  INFANTRY  OUT  AGAINST  KOREANS  . . 244 


CHAPTER  I 


THE  HERMIT  KINGDOM 


ATE  in  the  seventies,  when  Pekin  was  still 


the  city  of  mystery,  one  annual  event  never 
failed  to  arrest  the  attention  of  Europeans  there. 
During  the  winter  months  a large  party  of  strangers 
would  arrive,  men  of  odd  dress  and  unfamiliar 
speech.  Their  long,  thickly  padded  robes  were  tied 
with  short  strings,  not  buttoned  like  the  Chinese, 
and  their  outer  garment  was  parted  in  the  middle, 
instead  of  the  Chinese  style,  on  the  right  hand. 
Their  dress  resembled  that  of  the  Pekin  folk  before 
the  Tartars  had  come,  many  centuries  earlier,  and 
they  took  off  their  shoes  on  entering  a room, 
like  the  Japanese.  They  wore  extraordinary  hats, 
often  of  gigantic  size,  made  of  horse-hair  or  of 
bamboo,  and  their  hair  was  tied  in  a knot  on  the 
top  of  their  heads.  They  were  dark-skinned,  flat- 
nosed, and  black-eyed,  and  yet  there  was  a strange 
suggestion  of  the  Caucasian  in  their  Mongol  coun- 
tenances. 

The  visitors,  who  never  exceeded  two  hundred 
in  number,  were  the  ambassadors,  tribute-bearers, 
and  traders  from  Chosen,  the  Hermit  Kingdom. 


2 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


The  three  chiefs,  with  their  three  right-hand  men, 
entered  into  the  very  heart  of  the  Forbidden  City, 
paid  their  dues  to  the  Emperor,  kow-towed,  and 
were  entertained  at  an  official  dinner.  The  traders 
sold  their  ginseng — most  famed  of  all  Eastern 
sudorifics — their  brassware,  and  their  rolls  of  oiled 
paper.  Europeans  often  tried  to  hold  intercourse 
with  them,  but  without  much  success.  At  the  end 
of  forty  days,  the  embassy  and  its  followers  returned, 
back  over  the  great  Pekin  road,  where  splendid  towers 
had  been  built  centuries  since  to  mark  their  annual 
march — back  over  the  high  pass  of  Motienling,  where 
the  world  seemed  stretched  out  beneath  their  feet, 
past  the  line  of  stakes,  built  to  separate  China  from 
its  neighbour,  under  the  shadow  of  the  now  decaying 
cities  of  refuge,  and  through  the  dreaded  bandit 
belt  of  the  Yalu.  Then  they  were  swallowed  up 
again  in  the  darkness  and  mystery  of  their  own 
land. 

At  that  time,  less  than  thirty  years  ago,  Chosen, 
now  known  as  Korea,  was  a country  that  still  reso- 
lutely shut  itself  off  from  the  outside  world.  Its 
land  borders  to  the  north  had  for  centuries  been 
edged  by  a lawless  region,  where  bandits  were 
allowed  to  live  without  molestation,  and  through 
which  ordinary  travellers  could  not  pass.  Even 
Chinamen  who  crossed  the  river  Yalu  were  quickly 
decapitated  by  the  stern  yangbans  on  the  Korean 
side.  Its  long,  rocky,  and  forbidding  coast  line  was 
carefully  avoided  by  most  foreign  ships.  Now  and 
then  an  exploring  navigator  might  call  at  a point 
of  the  coast,  only  to  be  met  by  a dignified  repulse. 


THE  HERMIT  KINGDOM 


3 


In  the  seventeenth  century  two  or  three  dozen  Dutch 
sailors  were  wrecked  at  different  times  on  the 
Korean  shores.  Some  of  them  were  compelled  to 
spend  the  remainder  of  their  lives  there.  Others 
escaped,  and  among  them  was  one  Hendrick  Hamel, 
who  wrote  a book  on  the  country  which  gave  very 
little  information.  Du  Halde,  the  great  geographer 
of  the  eighteenth  century,  described  the  people  of 
Korea  as  “generally  well  made  and  of  sweet  and 
tractable  disposition  ; they  understand  the  Chinese 
language,  delight  in  learning,  and  are  given  to  music 
and  dancing.”  He  further  told  that  their  manners 
were  “ so  well  regulated  that  theft  and  adultery  were 
crimes  unknown  among  them,  so  that  there  was  no 
occasion  to  shut  street  doors  in  the  night ; and 
although  the  revolutions,  which  are  fatal  to  all  States, 
may  have  somewhat  changed  this  former  innocence, 
yet  they  have  still  enough  of  it  left  to  be  a pattern 
to  other  nations.” 

In  the  latter  half  of  the  eighteenth  century,  some 
Korean  literary  men  and  officials  came  under  the 
influence  of  the  Catholic  missionaries  at  Pekin,  and 
started  a campaign  for  the  conversion  of  Korea. 
They  obtained  considerable  success,  and  quickly 
aroused  bitter  official  opposition  and  persecution. 
Many  of  their  converts  were  tortured  and  put  to 
death,  but  the  faith  continued  to  spread  secretly. 
A French  missionary  tried,  in  the  bravest  manner, 
to  force  his  way  into  Korea.  He  penetrated  the 
bandit  lands  north  of  Chosen  in  the  depth  of  winter, 
crossed  the  Yalu  on  the  ice,  crawled  into  the  town 
of  Wi-ju  through  a drainage  hole  in  the  wall,  and 


4 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


reached  Seoul  on  horseback.  Others  followed  him, 
and  the  story  of  their  perils  and  adventures  is  one 
of  the  most  romantic  in  the  annals  of  travel.  Some- 
times the  missionaries  entered  by  small  boats  from 
China,  sometimes  overland.  They  had  endless 
disguises,  an  elaborate  secret  post,  and  many  ways 
of  escaping  detection.  A priest  would  be  known 
by  different  names  in  different  places ; he  would 
sleep  by  day  and  travel  by  night ; he  was  now  a 
beggar,  now  a pedlar,  and  now  a high  official  in 
mourning  garb.  The  French  priests  and  their 
converts  had  the  sword  ever  hanging  over  them. 
Once,  after  the  authorities  had  attacked  and  killed 
a number  of  their  converts,  the  French  bishop, 
Imbert,  and  two  of  his  comrades  came  out  and 
surrendered  themselves,  to  avoid  further  bloodshed. 
They  were  imprisoned  and  tortured  in  the  most 
diabolical  fashion.  As  a preliminary,  they  were 
given  each  sixty-six  strokes  with  a paddle,  a punish- 
ment that  alone  would  have  killed  many  men.  On 
the  day  of  execution  they  were  taken  out  to  the 
decapitation  ground,  and  there  publicly  tormented  in 
a way  impossible  to  describe  in  full,  before  being  killed. 

Imbert  died  in  1839;  Ferreol  was  consecrated  as 
his  successor  in  1843.  Ferreol  dared  everything,  and 
forced  his  way  into  the  land.  Others  followed  him. 
By  i860,  the  native  Christians  numbered  not  far 
short  of  twenty  thousand.  Then  a fresh  persecution 
began,  more  formidable  than  the  first.  The  Church 
was  apparently  stamped  out,  only  three  missionaries 
escaping,  while  fourteen,  mainly  Frenchmen,  were 
slain. 


THE  HERMIT  KINGDOM 


5 


This  last  persecution  led  to  political  action.  The 
French  Charge  d’Affaires  at  Pekin,  M.  de  Bellonet, 
informed  the  Chinese  Government,  in  very  emphatic 
and  boastful  language,  that  the  French  Emperor  had 
decided  to  punish  the  King  of  Korea  for  illtreating 
and  killing  the  missionaries.  “ The  government  of 
His  Majesty,”  wrote  M.  de  Bellonet  to  Prince 
Kung,  “cannot  permit  so  bloody  an  outrage  to 
be  unpunished.  The  same  day  on  which  the 
King  of  Korea  laid  his  hands  upon  my  unhappy 
countrymen  was  the  last  of  his  reign  ; he  himself 
proclaimed  its  end,  which  I,  in  turn,  solemnly  declare 
to-day.  In  a few  days  our  military  forces  are  to 
march  to  the  conquest  of  Korea,  and  the  Emperor, 
my  august  Sovereign,  alone  has  now  the  right  and 
the  power  to  dispose,  according  to  his  good  pleasure, 
of  the  country  and  the  vacant  throne.” 

Seven  French  vessels,  with  a thousand  troops, 
arrived  at  the  Han  river,  and  attacked  the  forts  on 
the  Kangwha  island.  Then  the  troops  landed  on 
the  shore,  and  advanced  against  the  walls  of  the 
town  of  Kangwha.  As  they  approached,  a number 
of  natives  opened  on  them  from  behind  the  walls 
with  fire  guns,  bows  and  arrows,  jingals,  and  ancient 
matchlocks.  The  French  troops  stormed  the  city, 
swept  the  natives  on  one  side,  and  burnt  the  place 
to  the  ground.  Then  they  attempted  to  push  their 
success  further.  The  Koreans  met  them  by  trickery 
and  delay.  One  expeditionary  force  of  160  men 
that  set  out  from  the  fleet  against  a more  distant 
fortress  was  surprised  and  largely  destroyed.  The 
French  were  harried  by  constantly  increasing  armies 


6 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


of  natives,  who  hung  around  their  flanks  whenever 
they  moved.  At  the  end  of  a few  days  the  French 
Admiral  ordered  his  troops  to  embark,  and  the 
expedition  returned  to  China. 

A country  thus  unknown  could  not  fail  to  be  the 
centre  of  many  marvels.  It  was  stated  that  in 
Korea  the  horses  were  3 feet  high ; that  there 
were  fowls  with  tails  3 feet  long,  that  the  tombs  of 
the  kings  were  made  of  silver  and  gold,  and  the 
bodies  of  the  dead  studded  with  precious  stones;  and 
that  there  were  hills  of  silver  and  mineral  resources 
of  fabulous  value.  These  stories  naturally  served 
to  excite  the  cupidity  of  shady  cosmopolitan  adven- 
turers around  Shanghai.  At  least  two  buccaneering 
expeditions  were  started  against  the  country,  and 
one  of  them  ended  in  tragedy.  In  1866  an  American 
schooner,  the  General  Sherman , whose  crew  con- 
sisted of  Captain  Preston,  three  Americans,  an 
Englishman,  and  nineteen  Malay  and  Chinese 
sailors,  left  Tientsin  for  Korea.  She  was  loaded 
with  guns,  powder,  and  contraband  articles,  and  was 
said  to  be  despatched  for  the  purpose  of  plundering 
the  royal  tombs  at  Ping-yang.  The  ship  entered  the 
Tai  Tong  river,  and  was  there  ordered  to  stop  by 
local  authorities.  Its  visit  roused  great  excitement 
as  it  was  believed  to  be  made  in  connection  with  the 
French  Catholics,  against  whom  the  Government 
was  then  in  full  opposition.  The  Regent  of  Korea, 
the  Tai  Won  Kun,  sent  orders  that  the  foreigners 
were  not  to  be  allowed  to  land,  and  that  they  were 
either  to  be  driven  back  or  killed.  The  people  of 
Ping-yang  prepared  for  war.  Their  weapons  were 


THE  HERMIT  KINGDOM, 


7 


primitive.  They  had  the  fire-arrow  or  wha-jun, 
which  was  said  to  be  able  to  shoot  800  feet  and 
then  explode  with  considerable  force.  The  soldiers 
dressed  themselves  in  their  dragon  cloud  armour, 
cloth  of  many  folds  reputedly  impervious  to  bullets. 
The  bowmen  were  paraded,  and  some  old  style 
cannon  brought  out.  Parties  of  Koreans  on  either 
banks  of  the  river  opened  fire  on  the  ship’s 
crew,  and  for  four  days  an  intermittent  duel  was 
maintained.  The  ship’s  guns  did  considerable 
execution,  but  for  every  Korean  killed  there  were  a 
dozen  to  step  into  his  place.  Being  ignorant  of  the 
navigation  of  the  river,  Captain  Preston  ran  his  ship 
on  the  banks  and  was  unable  to  float  it  off. 

After  some  days’  fighting,  the  Koreans  had 
accomplished  very  little.  Their  archers  and  soldiers 
would  not  approach  the  ship  near  enough  to  do 
much  damage,  and  they  soon  refused  to  expose 
themselves  to  certain  death  from  gun  fire.  An 
ancient  armoured  float  was  brought  into  play,  the 
tortoise  boat,  a scow  mounted  with  cannon  and 
protected  by  a covering  of  sheet  iron  and  bull 
hide.  The  front  part  of  the  armour  lifted  when 
the  shot  was  fired  and  closed  immediately  after- 
wards. Even  the  tortoise  boat  failed  to  injure  the 
foreign  ship.  Then  a drill-sergeant — Pak  by  name — 
made  himself  for  ever  famous  by  proposing  another 
plan.  He  fastened  three  scows  together,  piled  them 
with  brushwood,  and  sprinkled  the  wood  with  sul- 
phur and  saltpetre.  The  scows  were  secured  by 
cords,  were  set  alight,  and  then  sent  down  the  river 
towards  the  General  Sherman.  One  failed  to  do 


8 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


any  damage.  A second  trio  was  prepared,  but  the 
now  fearful  crew  of  the  American  ship  managed  to 
keep  it  off  when  it  approached  them.  Then  came 
a third  trio  of  burning  boats,  and  this  set  the  General 
Sherman  on  fire. 

The  crew  were  almost  suffocated  by  the  stench 
and  vapour  of  the  burning  sulphur  and  saltpetre. 
They  tried  in  vain  to  put  out  the  flames,  and  as 
the  smoke  grew  thicker  and  thicker  they  were  forced 
one  by  one  to  jump  into  the  water.  They  were 
seized  by  the  Korean  soldiers,  now  hurrying  up  in 
boats.  Some  of  the  invaders  had  white  flags,  which 
they  waved  wildly  but  waved  in  vain.  Most  of  them 
were  hacked  to  pieces  before  they  reached  the  shore. 
Others  were  brought  to  land,  where  they  tried  by 
friendly  smiles  and  soft  words  to  win  the  goodwill 
of  the  people.  But  they  were  not  allowed  many 
minutes  to  live.  They  were  pinioned  and  then  cut 
down,  mutilated  in  abominable  fashion,  and  the 
bodies  torn  to  bits.  Parts  were  taken  off  to  be 
used  as  medicine,  and  the  remainder  burnt.  The 
General  Sherman  itself  was  consumed  by  flame 
to  the  water’s  edge.  The  anchor  chains  were 
rescued  from  the  river,  dragged  in  triumph  to  the 
south  gate  of  the  city  of  Ping-yang,  and  hung 
high  as  a warning  to  all  men  of  the  fate  awaiting 
those  who  would  dare  to  disturb  the  peace  of  the 
Land  of  the  Morning  Calm.  When  I last  visited 
Ping-yang,  they  were  hanging  there  still. 

A French  missionary  priest,  M.  Feron,  who  had 
been  driven  from  Korea  in  the  great  persecution, 
planned  another  expedition  with  one  Ernest  Oppert, 


THE  HERMIT  KINGDOM 


9 


a Hamburg  Jew.  Feron  knew  that  the  Regent 
laid  great  store  upon  the  possession  of  some  old 
relics,  which  had  been  in  his  family  for  many  years, 
and  which  were  now  buried  in  one  of  the  royal 
tombs.  He  thought  that  if  these  relics  were  seized 
the  Regent  would  consent  to  abandon  his  persecu- 
tion of  the  Christians  in  order  to  have  them  returned. 
Oppert,  probably  fired  by  the  stories  of  the  wealth 
to  be  had  in  the  tombs,  fell  in  with  his  scheme.  He 
was  accompanied  by  an  American  named  Jenkins,  a 
fighting  crew  of  120  Chinese  and  Malays,  and  a 
few  European  wastrels.  They  left  Shanghai  in  the 
China , on  April  30,  1867,  landed  near  the  capital 
and  made  for  the  tomb.  The  people  at  first  fled 
from  them.  They  cleared  away  a heavy  mound 
of  earth  over  the  sarcophagus,  only  to  find  that 
the  coffin  itself  was  covered  with  strong  granite 
slabs  which  they  were  unable  to  move.  Thanks 
to  a heavy  fog,  they  were  able  to  work  for  a 
time  before  their  purpose  was  discovered,  but  soon 
they  were  surrounded  by  a crowd,  which  began 
stoning  them.  The  crew  threatened  to  retire  and 
leave  their  leaders  to  the  mercy  of  the  Koreans. 
Oppert  and  his  party  regained  their  ship  with 
slight  loss  of  life.  Later  on  the  American,  Jenkins, 
was  brought  to  trial  before  the  American  Consular 
Court  at  Shanghai,  but  escaped  owing  to  lack  of 
legal  proof.  Oppert  himself  afterwards  published  a 
full  account  of  his  expedition  in  volume  form.  He 
admitted  that  his  purpose  was  plunder,  but  justified 
himself  by  the  plea  that  by  securing  the  relics  in 
the  royal  tomb  he  and  his  companions  would  have 


IO 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


been  able  to  obtain  safety  for  the  Roman  Catholic 
converts  in  the  country. 

When  the  news  of  the  loss  of  the  General 
Sherman  reached  Shanghai,  the  American  Admiral 
there  ordered  Captain  Shufeldt,  Commander  of  the 
Wachusett  to  proceed  to  Korea  and  obtain 
redress.  Shufeldt  mistook  the  line  of  coast,  which 
was  unsurveyed,  and  anchored  in  a small  inlet 
about  thirty  miles  north  of  the  entrance  to  the 
Han  river,  the  approach  to  Seoul.  In  an  account 
given  by  himself  sometime  afterwards  Shufeldt 
said  : — 

“ From  this  point  I addressed  a letter  to  the  King 
of  Korea,  asking  him  the  reasons  for  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  General  Sherman  and  the  murder  of  the 
crew,  and  expressing  my  surprise  at  the  barbarism 
of  the  act,  particularly  as  I knew  that  on  the  pre- 
vious occasion  of  the  shipwreck  of  an  American 
vessel  the  King  of  Korea  had  transported  the  crew 
with  all  their  effects,  with  great  care,  to  the  boundary 
of  China,  where  they  safely  reached  their  own 
country.  After  some  days’  delay,  we  succeeded  in 
getting  the  official  of  the  village  before  mentioned 
to  send  this  letter  to  the  Governor  of  the  Province, 
with  the  request  that  it  might  be  forwarded  to  the 
capital  of  Korea. 

“ After  remaining  at  our  anchorage  for  ten  or 
fifteen  days  from  the  despatch  of  the  courier, 
finding  the  ship  was  gradually  being  frozen  in, 
and  apprehending  that  we  might  not  be  able  to 
get  out  until  the  spring,  by  which  time  our  pro- 
visions would  have  been  exhausted,  I determined 


Photograph  by~\ 


A VILLAGE  IDOL. 


[F.  .1.  McKenzie. 


THE  HERMIT  KINGDOM  u 

to  leave  without  waiting  longer  for  a reply,  with 
the  intention,  however,  of  returning  later  in  the 
season  after  reprovisioning.” 

Events  occurred  to  prevent  Captain  Shufeldt  from 
carrying  out  his  original  intention,  but  the  full 
reply  to  his  letter,  which  was  received  later, 
convinced  Americans  that  the  attack  on  the 
General  Sherman  was  made  under  strong  provo- 
cation. However,  in  1871,  the  American  Minister 
at  Pekin,  Mr.  Low,  directed  Admiral  Rodgers 
to  proceed  to  Korea  and  attack  the  defences  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Han  river,  as  a reprisal  for 
Captain  Preston’s  death.  The  attempt  was  no  more 
glorious  than  that  of  the  French.  The  Americans 
were  able,  by  their  superior  weapons,  to  slaughter  a 
considerable  number  of  Koreans.  The  latter  fought 
with  great  valour,  as  the  invaders  themselves 
admitted.  After  a spell  of  aimless  and  needless 
destruction  the  invaders  withdrew. 

All  this  time  greater  forces  were  making  for 
the  opening  of  the  country.  The  Korean  Govern- 
ment was  seriously  alarmed  by  the  advance  of 
Russia  to  the  north,  and  by  the  fact  that  General 
Ignatieffs  brilliant  statesmanship  had  secured  the 
Usuri  provinces  for  Russia.  In  Korea  itself  two 
great  parties,  that  of  the  King  and  that  of  the 
Regent,  were  fighting  for  supremacy,  just  as  a 
little  time  before  the  adherents  of  the  Emperor 
and  the  Tycoon  had  been  struggling  in  Japan. 
The  King,  who  year  by  year  was  becoming  more 
powerful,  was  inclined  to  favour  the  admission  of 
foreigners.  The  Regent  was  opposed  to  it.  China 


12 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


had  for  long  refused  to  admit  that  she  could 
control  Korea  in  any  way,  but  now,  driven  by 
various  reasons,  Li  Hung  Chang  began  to  use 
his  undoubted  authority  in  favour  of  breaking 
down  the  barriers.  Last,  and  greatest  of  all,  a 
new  Far  Eastern  power  had  arisen  that  would  not 
brook  denial.  New  Japan  was  revealing  herself, 
strong,  modern,  and  resolute.  The  Japanese  Govern- 
ment, still  struggling  with  medievalism  and  reaction 
at  home,  found  time  to  send  its  agents  to  Seoul. 
These  agents  secured  admission  where  Europeans 
could  not.  Able  to  make  themselves  understood, 
familiar  with  all  the  tricks  and  wiles  of  Oriental 
statesmanship,  learned  in  Chinese  courtesy,  they 
were  not  to  be  repulsed.  They  came,  backed  by 
gunboats.  In  1876  General  Kuroda  and  Count 
(then  Mr.)  Inouye  anchored  off  Seoul  with  a 
fleet  of  two  men-of-war  and  three  transports,  and 
announced  that  they  were  there  to  make  a treaty 
or  to  make  war.  In  less  than  three  weeks  a 
treaty  was  concluded.  In  this  treaty  Japan  ad- 
mitted that  Korea  was  an  independent  state, 
enjoying  the  same  sovereign  rights  as  itself.  In- 
tercourse was  henceforth  to  be  carried  on  “ in 
terms  of  equality  and  courtesy,  each  avoiding  the 
giving  of  offence  by  arrogance  or  the  manifesta- 
tion of  suspicion.”  Japan  was  granted  the  right 
to  have  an  establishment  at  Fusan  ; various  ports 
were  opened  to  Japanese  trade,  and  a Japanese 
officer  was  to  reside  at  each  of  the  open  ports 
for  the  protection  of  his  nationals. 


CHAPTER  II 

QUEEN  V.  REGENT 

THE  Japanese  quickly  planted  their  outposts 
throughout  the  country.  Mr.  Hanabusa,  their 
representative,  established  a Legation  outside  the 
west  gate  of  Seoul.  Settlements  were  made  at 
Gensan  and  Fusan,  and  a number  of  enterprising 
Japanese  traders  settled  at  those  places.  Over  a 
hundred  Koreans  were  sent  to  China  and  Japan  to 
study  foreign  affairs. 

At  this  time  Korea  was  torn  asunder  by  acute 
dissensions  in  the  royal  house.  For  many  years,  up 
to  1873,  the  regent,  the  Tai  Won  Kun,  had  ruled 
during  the  minority  of  the  King,  his  son.  The  King 
had  been  adopted  by  the  previous  monarch,  and  had 
succeeded  him.  The  Tai  Won  Kun  was  without 
question  one  of  the  most  remarkable  characters 
of  his  day  in  the  Far  East.  About  5 feet  6 inches 
high,  erect  and  vigorous,  with  grey,  wonderfully 
bright  and  clear  eyes,  he  looked  what  he  was,  a real 
leader  of  men.  In  the  first  days  of  his  rule,  he  took 
up  a strong  line  for  the  maintenance  of  the  kingly 
power  against  that  of  the  nobles.  He  was  a resolute 
opponent  of  foreigners,  and  it  was  under  him  that 

13 


14 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


the  worst  persecutions  of  the  Roman  Catholics  had 
taken  place.  In  1871  he  had  tablets  erected  in  the 
city  of  Seoul,  calling  on  the  people  to  drive  out 
foreigners: — 

“ The  barbarians  beyond  the  sea  have  violated  our 
waters,  and  invaded  our  land.  If  we  do  not  fight  we 
must  make  treaties  with  them.  Those  who  are  in 
favour  of  making  a treaty,  sell  their  country. 

“ Let  this  be  a warning  to  ten  thousand  genera- 
tions.” 

Absolutely  without  scruple,  and  indifferent  to  his 
methods  so  long  as  he  succeeded  in  the  end,  the 
Regent  for  many  years  carried  on  his  successful 
warfare  against  foreigners  on  the  one  hand,  and  the 
nobles  on  the  other.  To  defeat  the  foreigners  should 
they  attempt  to  land,  he  raised  regiments,  clad  them 
in  bullet-proof  armour,  consisting  of  seventy-two 
thicknesses  of  cotton  cloth,  armed  them  with  the 
weirdest  weapons,  and  cast  cannon  from  bells  for 
their  artillery.  To  break  the  power  of  the  nobles 
he  removed  many  of  their  privileges  of  dress  and 
of  freedom  from  taxation.  The  common  man  was 
allowed  to  wear  black  shoes,  hitherto  a privilege  of 
the  highest.  The  enormous  size  of  ancient  hat  brim 
was  cut  down.  Rich  and  poor  were  ordered  to 
reduce  the  volume  of  their  sleeves.  High  offices  of 
state  were  thrown  open  to  the  capable,  whether  born 
nobles  or  commoners,  in  place  after  place  the 
Regent  built  magnificent  palaces,  a mania  later  on 
adopted  by  his  son,  the  King,  for  it  is  a tradition 
in  Korea  that  when  the  monarch  ceases  building  his 
reign  comes  to  an  end. 


OUEEN  v.  REGENT 


15 


After  the  King  had  emerged  from  his  minority,  the 
Regent  still  attempted  to  be  the  real  ruler.  He  was 
given  the  title  of  “ Great  Elder,”  and  at  first  he 
remained  the  power  behind  the  throne.  This  was 
not  to  continue  long,  for  a new  force  was  arising 
in  the  state.  The  King  himself,  a weak,  good- 
natured,  and  kindly  man,  had  married  a daughter 
of  the  Ming  family.  After  she  had  given  birth  to 
a son,  the  authority  of  the  Queen  grew  daily.  She 
was,  in  her  way,  as  resolute  a character  as  the  Regent 
himself,  and  soon  the  fiercest  of  fights  were  raging 
between  the  two.  The  Queen’s  brother,  Ming- 
Seung-ho,  became  Prime  Minister,  and  the  Regent 
was  gradually  robbed  of  his  offices.  The  Tai  Won 
Kun  was  not  to  be  so  easily  brushed  aside.  He  set 
on  foot  a thousand  schemes  of  agitation.  Mysterious 
risings  began  in  the  provinces,  and  long  complaints 
of  bad  government  poured  in  on  the  rulers.  One 
day  a side  of  the  Queen’s  bedroom  was  blown  to 
pieces,  and  it  was  whispered  from  man  to  man  that 
one  of  the  Regent’s  servants  had  put  a charge  of 
gunpowder  there.  On  another  day,  the  Prime 
Minister  was  offering  sacrifice  to  his  ancestors,  when 
he  received  a box,  seemingly  from  the  palace.  His 
family,  wondering  what  great  honour  this  was  that 
had  been  sent  to  him,  pressed  round  to  see  the 
contents.  As  the  box  was  opened,  it  exploded.  It 
was  an  infernal  machine,  and  the  Prime  Minister’s 
mother  and  his  son  were  killed.  The  box  had  come 
from  the  Tai  Won  Kun. 

The  conclusion  of  a treaty  with  the  Japanese  was 
made  in  opposition  to  the  Regent’s  advice,  and  he  at 


i6 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


once  used  this  as  a weapon  of  attack  against  the 
Queen.  Literary  men  were  sent  about  the  country  to 
whisper  of  the  sufferings  these  foreigners  would 
undoubtedly  bring  upon  the  nation.  “ If  we  admit 
the  Japanese,”  said  one  to  the  other,  “ we  must  admit 
the  white  men,  and  if  we  admit  the  white  men  we 
must  adopt  their  wicked  faith.” 

The  Tai  Won  Kun’s  great  opportunity  did  not 
arrive  until  the  year  1882.  Negotiations  were 
rapidly  proceeding  at  this  time  for  closer  relations 
with  white  Powers,  and  in  the  month  of  May  a treaty 
was  signed  at  Chemulpho  between  Korea  and  the 
United  States,  by  which  the  country  was  opened  to 
Americans.  That  summer  a great  drought  fell  on 
the  land ; crops  failed,  Government  funds  were 
exhausted,  soldiers  and  civil  servants  were  without 
pay,  and  food  was  scarce.  “It  is  the  anger  of 
heaven  against  us,”  the  people  said  in  whispers. 
“ We  have  admitted  foreigners,  and  this  is  the 
result.”  The  agents  of  the  Regent  were  busy  every- 
where, and  on  the  evening  of  the  23rd  of  July  a mob, 
led  by  them,  attacked  the  King’s  chief  ministers  in 
their  homes  and  hacked  them  to  bits.  They  then 
proceeded  to  the  palace  itself.  The  soldiers  and  the 
mob  were  one,  and  a cry  went  up  from  all  to  destroy 
their  ruler.  The  King  escaped  as  though  by  a 
miracle,  and  the  mob  gazed  on  what  they  thought 
was  the  dead  body  of  the  Queen.  Every  one  knew 
that  she  was  to  have  been  poisoned  by  the  Regent’s 
order,  but  she  had  heard  of  what  was  coming  and 
had  prepared.  A female  attendant  was  poisoned  in 
her  place,  she  slipped  out  of  her  rooms,  and  one  of 


QUEEN  v.  REGENT 


1 7 


her  household  servants  took  her  on  his  back  and  made 
his  way  through  the  furious  crowds  to  a place  of 
safety.  Man  after  man  stopped  them  demanding  to 
know  who  he  was,  whom  he  was  carrying,  and  where 
he  was  going.  His  reply  always  was  that  he  was 
a minor  official  taking  his  sister  out  of  the  trouble. 
She  went  to  a private  house  in  the  city,  and  from 
there  she  was  carried  in  a chair  into  the  country. 
One  of  her  chair  bearers  was  a humble  water  carrier, 
Yi  Yong  Ik  by  name,  who  acted  very  courageously 
in  smuggling  her  away.  That  day  he  laid  the 
foundation  of  his  fortunes.  Within  twenty  years  he 
was  serving  his  King  and  country  as  Prime  Minister. 

While  a section  of  the  rioters  was  running  amok 
in  the  palace,  another  party  attacked  the  Japanese. 
Isolated  Japanese  who  were  found  in  the  streets  were 
at  once  murdered.  A great  crowd  threw  itself  against 
the  Japanese  Legation,  but  was  repulsed  time  after 
time  by  the  steady  fire  of  the  Minister  and  his 
assistants.  Then  some  Koreans  set  fire  to  the 
building,  and  the  Japanese  had  to  quit  it  to  escape 
the  flames.  They  kept  together,  and  fought  their 
way  through  the  city  to  the  palace,  where  they 
demanded  shelter.  The  General  in  charge  shut  the 
gates  more  securely  and  ordered  them  off.  By  this 
time,  happily  for  them,  darkness  was  coming  on,  and 
they  made  their  way  out  of  Seoul  down  to  the  river, 
and  on  to  Chemulpho.  They  were  again  attacked  on 
the  road,  and  five  of  them  were  killed.  At  Che- 
mulpho they  put  out  to  sea  in  a fishing  boat,  were 
rescued  next  day  by  a British  surveying  ship,  the 
Flying  Fisk,  and  were  taken  home. 

3 


i8 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


A cry  went  up  in  Japan  for  instant  vengeance 
against  the  Koreans.  Volunteers  from  every  part  of 
the  country  clamoured  to  be  allowed  to  go  and  fight 
these  barbarians,  and  public  subscriptions  were  raised, 
in  which  foreign  merchants  joined  with  the  islanders. 
The  Japanese  Government,  however,  adopted  a more 
conciliatory  line.  Mr.  Hanabusa  was  sent  back  to 
Seoul  in  August  with  a considerable  armed  escort, 
to  demand  redress.  China,  recognising  that  unless 
she  acted  now  she  must  ever  forfeit  her  claim  to  a 
suzerainty  over  the  country,  despatched  a force  of 
4,000  men  to  put  down  the  rioting.  The  Queen, 
from  her  country  home,  had  sent  strong  repre- 
sentations to  Pekin  demanding  protection,  and 
pointing  to  the  Regent  as  the  guilty  party.  The 
Regent  himself,  seeing  that  his  plan  had  miscarried, 
was  foremost  among  the  apologists  for  the  outbreak. 
He  assured  Mr.  Hanabusa  that  it  had  occurred 
despite  his  strong  efforts  to  prevent  it,  and  that  it 
was  nothing  but  the  work  of  crowds  of  ignorant  and 
misinformed  peasants  and  soldiers. 

The  Chinese  Generals  took  command  of  the  city. 
The  Japanese  were  promised  a heavy  indemnity,  a 
new  Legation,  and  greater  facilities  for  trade  and 
travel.  The  Chinese  troops  arrested  over  a hundred 
men,  executed  the  leaders  with  every  accompaniment 
of  degradation  and  shame,  exposed  their  mangled 
heads  on  the  city  walls,  and  threw  their  tortured 
bodies  on  the  dungheaps  for  the  dogs  to  eat.  The 
Regent  himself  was  not  allowed  to  go  free.  He  was 
invited  to  a banquet  at  the  Chinese  camp.  As  soon 
as  he  arrived  he  was  seized,  sent  down  to  the  coast, 


QUEEN  v.  REGENT 


19 


and  put  on  board  a Chinese  vessel.  While  his  wait- 
ing attendants  and  his  armed  men  were  yawningly 
wondering  when  the  feast  would  finish,  he  was 
already  on  his  way  to  China.  There  Li  Hung  Chang 
sent  him  as  a prisoner  to  Paotingfu,  where  he 
was  kept  for  several  years,  but  even  at  Paotingfu 
he  managed  in  one  way  and  another  to  continue  his 
plotting  against  the  throne. 

The  attack  on  the  Japanese  Legation  and  the 
intervention  of  China  raised  a question  that  was  later 
to  be  settled  by  the  Chino- Japanese  war.  Centuries 
before  this,  both  China  and  Japan  claimed  suzerainty 
over  Korea.  Japan  had  perforce  been  obliged  to 
abandon  her  claims  in  the  face  of  her  stronger  rival. 
But  the  Japanese  Government  was  by  no  means 
willing  now  to  permit  China  to  increase  her  authority 
at  the  Seoul  Court.  For  a time  there  was  consider- 
able danger  of  war  between  the  two  Powers,  but  the 
Japanese  Government,  following  its  uniform  policy, 
submitted  for  the  moment,  and  gathered  strength  to 
strike  a real  blow  in  the  early  future. 

The  Queen  returned  to  the  palace,  her  power  more 
fully  established  than  ever  before.  The  King,  follow- 
ing the  custom  of  his  ancestors,  issued  a public  pro- 
clamation, which  is  still  of  great  interest  to  those  who 
would  follow  the  working  of  the  national  mind  : — 

“ For  500  years  we  have  carefully  guarded 
our  coasts  to  prevent  intercourse  with  foreigners, 
therefore  we  have  seen  and  heard  but  little  of  other 
people.  In  Europe  and  America  many  wonderful 
things  have  been  invented ; they  are  all  wealthy 
countries,  their  railways  and  steamers  are  all  over 


20 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


the  world,  they  compete  with  each  other  in  the  per- 
fection of  their  armies,  and  are  honest  in  all  their 
dealings  with  each  other.  Formerly  China  was  the 
first  of  all  nations,  but  now  these  kingdoms  are  her 
equal,  and  she  has  made  treaties  of  friendship  with 
them.  Even  Japan,  on  the  extreme  edge  of  the  sea, 
has  entered  into  commercial  relationship  with  these 
countries.  In  the  year  Ping-tsz  (1876),  my  kingdom 
made  a treaty  with  Japan  by  which  three  ports  were 
opened  to  them,  and  now,  contrary  to  our  ancient 
customs,  I am  about  to  make  treaties  with  England, 
America,  and  Germany.  For  this  change  I am 
abused  by  all  the  scholars  and  people  in  the  king- 
dom, yet  I bear  it  patiently,  knowing  there  is  nothing 
to  be  ashamed  of.  Our  intercourse  with  these 
countries  will  be  on  terms  of  equality,  and  you  have 
no  reason  to  be  grieved  if  we  permit  foreigners  to 
dwell  in  our  kingdom. 

“ History  proves  that  from  ancient  times  it  has 
been  the  custom  of  nations  to  trade  with  each  other, 
yet  you  stupid  literati  consider  this  is  an  evil  custom, 
and  wish  me  to  keep  aloof  from  all  other  nations. 
Why  do  you  not  consider  that  if  when  foreigners  come 
as  friends  we  call  out  our  soldiers  and  drive  them 
away,  we  shall  make  enemies  of  all  the  people  under 
heaven  ; we  shall  stand  alone  without  a friend  while 
all  other  countries  are  bound  together,  and  if  they 
send  their  armies  against  us  we  shall  certainly  be 
defeated  ? 

“You  say  that  if  we  admit  foreigners  into  our 
country  we  must  of  necessity  admit  their  false  religion 
also.  But  we  can  be  friendly  without  accepting  their 


QUEEN  v.  REGENT 


21 


religion.  We  could  treat  them  according  to  the 
rules  of  international  law,  but  must  not  allow  them 
to  preach  their  doctrines.  Hitherto,  you  have  only 
read  the  books  of  Confucius  and  Mencius,  and 
their  doctrines  are  so  firmly  rooted  in  your  hearts, 
that  even  if  the  foreigners  should  attempt  to  propa- 
gate their  religion,  it  is  impossible  for  you  to  be 
influenced  thereby.  If  some  stupid,  empty-headed 
people  should  learn  and  believe  the  foreign  doctrines, 
we  have  an  unalterable  law  by  which  they  must  die 
and  may  not  be  pardoned,  so  that  it  will  be  easy 
to  get  rid  of  that  religion.  The  foreign  religion  is 
wicked  and  sensual,  but  consider  how  greatly  our 
people  will  be  benefited  by  learning  their  arts  and 
manufactures.  Their  methods  of  agriculture,  med  - 
cine,  and  surgery,  their  carriages,  steamers,  guns,  &c 
are  all  excellent,  and  why  should  not  we  learn  of 
them  ? To  learn  their  trades  is  one  thing,  to  learn 
their  religion  is  another.  Foreign  countries  are 
strong,  we  are  weak,  so  unless  we  learn  their  ways 
how  can  we  stand  against  them  ? If  we  can  reform 
our  home  affairs  and  besides  be  on  friendly  terms 
with  outside  kingdoms,  we  shall  soon  be  as  strong 
and  wealthy  as  other  nations.  I desire  the  prosperity 
of  my  kingdom  as  much  as  you  do,  but  that  affair  in 
the  sixth  moon  (massacre  of  Japanese),  has  placed 
me  in  a difficult  position.  That  was  a treacherous 
breach  of  the  treaty,  and  has  brought  upon  us  the 
scorn  of  the  whole  world.  Our  kingdom  was  in 
danger,  our  peace  disturbed,  and  we  have  to  pay  a 
heavy  indemnity.  This  affair  is  now  settled,  and  we 
are  about  to  make  treaties  with  America,  England, 


22 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Germany.  This  is  in  accordance  with  ancient 
customs,  and  is  not  to  be  looked  upon  with  suspicion 
as  an  innovation,  so  let  your  minds  be  at  peace,  and 
let  every  man  attend  to  his  own  affairs.  When 
foreigners  come,  treat  them  with  respect ; if  they 
ill-use  you  I will  see  to  that,  for  I will  not  favour 
them  more  than  my  own  subjects. 

“If  the  common  people  speak  evil  of  those  in 
authority,  they  ought  by  law  to  be  put  to  death,  but 
if  I punished  you  without  first  giving  you  warning, 
I should  not  be  acting  justly.  We  have  now  become 
friendly  with  Western  nations,  and  the  stone  tablet 
outside  the  city  gate  forbidding  the  approach  of 
foreigners  must  be  removed,  &c. 

THE  KING  OF  CHAO-SIEN 
COMMANDS  THE  RULERS  AND  PEOPLE.” 

The  uprisings  did  not  prevent  the  broadening  of 
intercourse  with  foreign  nations.  Both  China  and 
Korea  were  already  becoming  alarmed  at  the  steady 
growth  of  Japanese  activity.  Li  Hung  Chang  wrote 
a very  remarkable  warning  to  Korean  officials  on 
this  matter,  a warning  of  peculiar  significance  in 
view  of  later  developments  : — 

“ Of  late  years  Japan  has  adopted  Western  customs. 

. . . Her  national  liabilities  having  largely  increased, 
she  is  casting  her  eyes  about  in  search  of  some  con- 
venient acquisition  which  may  recoup  her.  . . The 
fate  of  Loochoo  is  at  once  a warning  and  a regret  to 
both  China  and  Korea.  . . . Her  aggressive  designs 
upon  Korea  will  be  best  frustrated  by  the  latter’s 
alliance  with  Western  nations.” 


QUEEN  v.  REGENT 


23 


The  treaty  with  the  United  States,  signed  on 
May  22,  1882,  by  Commodore  Shufeldt  and  two 
members  of  the  Korean  Cabinet,  provided  for  the 
opening  up  of  intercourse  between  the  two  nations, 
for  the  appointment  of  diplomatic  representatives 
and  consuls,  for  the  establishment  of  extra-territorial 
rights  for  American  citizens,  and  for  a tariff  of  not 
exceeding  10  per  cent.,  ad  valorem , on  articles  of 
daily  use,  and  not  exceeding  30  per  cent,  on  articles 
of  luxury.  American  citizens  were  given  the  right 
to  live  at  the  open  ports.  There  was  one  clause 
in  this  treaty  to  which  the  Koreans  attributed, 
as  it  afterwards  appeared,  excessive  importance. 
Korea  was  guaranteed  protection  against  hostile 
Powers : — 

“ If  other  Powers  deal  unjustly  or  oppressively 
with  either  Government,  the  other  will  exert  her 
good  offices,  on  being  informed  of  the  case,  to  bring 
about  an  amicable  arrangement,  thus  showing  her 
friendly  feelings.” 

It  was  a paper  promise,  and,  so  far  as  America 
was  concerned,  not  worth  the  paper  it  was  written 
on.  This  was  proved  later. 

The  same  year  Admiral  Willes  and  Mr.  W.  G. 
Aston  arranged  a British  treaty,  but  the  Home 
Government  refused  to  ratify  it,  objecting  to  some 
of  its  provisions. 

Sir  Harry  Parkes  was  sent  to  Korea  a few  months 
later,  armed  with  special  powers,  and  accompanied 
by  Mr.  Aston,  Mr.  (now  Sir  Walter)  Hillier,  and 
Mr.  C.  T.  Maude.  “ After  a good  deal  of  hard 
labour  and  trials  of  temper  and  patience  ” (to  quote 


24 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


his  own  words)1  a satisfactory  British-Korean  treaty 
was  signed,  in  which  the  rights  of  British  subjects 
to  trade  and  to  the  jurisdiction  of  their  own  courts 
were  specifically  laid  down.  The  British  treaty  was 
a striking  example  of  unequivocal  draughtsmanship, 
and  Sir  Harry  Parkes’s  experiences  in  Japan  and 
China  here  stood  him  in  good  stead.  Other  Euro- 
pean Powers  also  secured  treaty  rights. 

1 “ Life  of  Sir  Harry  Parkes,”  vol.  ii.  p.  205. 


CHAPTER  III 


THE  COMING  OF  THE  FOREIGNER 

“ \ It  J HEN  I first  entered  Korea,”  said  one  of  the 
V V earliest  foreign  residents  to  me,  “ it  seemed 
as  though  I were  stepping  out  of  real  life  into  the 
veritable  wonderland  of  Alice.  Everything  was  so 
fantastic,  so  very  different  from  any  other  part  of 
the  world,  so  absurd,  so  repulsive,  or  so  bizarre,  that 
I had  to  ask  myself,  time  after  time,  whether  I was 
awake  or  dreaming.” 

In  many  respects  Korean  institutions,  as  seen  by 
Europeans  and  Americans  when  they  first  arrived 
in  the  country,  resembled  those  of  China  some  five 
or  six  hundred  years  back.  The  government  was 
an  absolute  monarchy,  the  King  being  assisted  by 
a Prime  Minister,  two  associates,  and  the  heads  of 
six  departments,  the  Lord  Chamberlain’s,  Finance, 
War,  Public  Works,  Justice,  and  Registration.  The 
country  was  divided  into  eight  provinces,  with  a 
governor  for  each,  and  under  the  governor  were 
magistrates  in  charge  of  districts.  To  keep  these 
officials  in  order,  the  King  had  the  equivalent  to  the 
“ personal  representative  ” of  the  American  million- 
aire manufacturer,  secret  agents  who  visited  various 

*5 


2 6 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


parts  of  the  country,  examining  everything  on  the 
King’s  behalf,  and  reporting  to  him  direct.  The 
prisons  were  an  abomination,  torture  was  freely 
employed,  periodical  jail  clearings  were  made  by 
hanging  scores  of  prisoners  at  a time,  and  justice 
was  bought  and  sold.  The  two  main  curses  of 
the  Government  were  the  farming  of  taxes  and 
the  granting  of  concessions  at  the  cost  of  the 
common  people.  Under  the  farming  of  taxes,  the 
governor  or  the  magistrate  was  given  a free  hand  to 
collect  as  much  as  he  could,  and  he  made  his  profit 
according  to  the  amount  he  could  squeeze  out  of 
the  people  above  the  sum  required  by  the  central 
government.  Any  man  who  was  sufficiently  pros- 
perous became  at  once  the  victim  of  magisterial  zeal. 
The  magistrate  would  come  to  the  farmer  who  had 
been  cursed  with  a specially  good  crop  and  beg  a 
loan.  If  the  man  refused,  he  would  promptly  be 
imprisoned,  half  starved,  and  beaten  once  or  twice 
a day  until  he  consented.  There  were  good  magis- 
trates and  bad,  but  generally  the  power  of  the  yamen 
was  dreaded  by  every  working  man.  “ Why  do  I 
not  grow  bigger  crops  and  cultivate  more  fields  ? ” 
a Korean  farmer  once  asked  me.  “ Why  should  I ? 
Bigger  crops  means  greater  extortion  from  the 
governor.”  The  power  of  the  magistrates  was 
modified  by  the  unwritten  right  of  rebellion,  and  by 
direct  appeal  to  the  King.  When  the  governor 
became  too  greedy  the  people  would  rise  up  and 
kill  him,  and  the  central  authorities  would  think 
that  justice  had  been  done.  There  can  be  no  doubt 
that  under  this  system  individual  enterprise  was 


THE  COMING  OF  THE  FOREIGNER  27 


severely  limited  ; no  man  had  any  real  incentive  to 
special  industry. 

The  granting  of  concessions  to  nobles  was  another 
burden  on  the  people.  A noble,  a yangban,  con- 
sidered that  he  had  a right  to  live  off  the  working 
classes.  When  the  younger  son  of  a great  man 
grew  up,  his  father  would  ask  the  king  for  a con- 
cession. Maybe  this  would  be  the  right  to  charge  so 
much  to  every  man  who  crossed  a certain  ford,  or  the 
right  to  impose  a tax  in  some  special  district.  The 
concessionaire  would  give  the  nation  practically  no 
services  in  return.  This  may  seem  amazing  to 
Western  readers,  but  we  would  do  well  to  curb  our 
indignation  over  it.  Let  us  recall  the  privileges 
granted  to  certain  lords  of  the  manor  in  England, 
over-lords  of  commons  around  which  towns  have  been 
built.  The  man  who  wishes  to  run  a drain  under  the 
common,  or  to  open  out  a fresh  doorway  from  his 
house,  edging  the  common,  on  to  the  open  space,  finds 
substantial  payment  promptly  levied.  The  principle, 
that  of  possessing  the  right  to  make  charges  on  the 
community  without  rendering  an  equivalent  service, 
is  the  same  in  each  case. 

Life  in  the  capital  was  relieved  from  tedium  by 
notices  in  the  Daily  Gazette  like  these : — 

“ His  Majesty  orders  that  Kwon  Ik  Sang,  and 
Song  Choung  Soup  (both  being  descendants  of 
renowned  patriots)  be  given  a musical  instrument 
each,  to  be  played  at  the  head  of  their  processions  on 
the  streets  in  honour  of  their  successes  at  the  recent 
civil  examinations.” 

“ His  Majesty  announces  that  ‘ inasmuch  as  our 


28 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Queen  Dowager  is  getting  old,  and  inasmuch  as  it 
will  soon  be  fifty  years  since  she  became  Queen,  I 
will  present  to  her  the  proper  congratulations  and 
some  garments  on  the  next  New  Year’s  day.’” 

For  the  first  few  years,  the  majority  of  foreigners 
who  entered  Korea  confined  themselves  to  the  open 
ports  of  Fusan  and  Chemulpho,  and  to  the  city  of 
Seoul,  the  capital.  In  these  places  they  saw  Korea 
at  its  very  worst.  In  Seoul,  in  particular,  great 
armies  of  hangers-on  attached  to  the  nobles  and  the 
Court  gave  an  impression  of  laziness,  of  dirt,  and  of 
worthlessness  which  was  not  borne  out  in  the  rural 
districts.  Seoul  itself  presented  a fantastic  picture. 
The  King  and  Queen  ruled  in  the  great  palace 
underneath  the  shadow  of  the  mountain.  Acres  and 
acres  of  low,  one-storied  buildings,  surrounded  by 
great  courtyards  and  high  walls,  were  filled  with 
retainers.  There  was  the  famed  dancing  hall,  sup- 
ported by  many  pillars,  and  rising  above  a wonderful 
lake,  where  the  iKing  was  amused  by  his  gesang — 
the  geisha  of  Korea.  There  were  at  least  4,000 
palace  attendants  and  officials,  eunuchs,  sorcerers, 
and  soothsayers,  and  hangers-on  of  every  kind. 
These  sorcerers — a guild  of  the  blind — were  a power 
in  the  land.  They  formed  a strong  clan,  and  men 
looked  with  dread  on  them  as  they  walked  through 
the  streets  in  pairs,  tapping  with  long  sticks  as 
they  felt  their  way,  their  sightless  eyes  staring  into 
vacancy. 

Seoul,  planted  in  an  ideal  situation,  surrounded  by 
high  hills,  and  with  healthy  climate,  was  remarkable 
among  Eastern  capitals  in  that  it  did  not  contain  a 


Photograph  by] 


GESAXG,  THE  GEISHA  OF  KOREA. 


[F.  A.  McKenzie. 


THE  COMING  OF  THE  FOREIGNER  29 


single  temple  where  religious  worship  was  carried  on. 
Generations  before,  the  Buddhist  priests  had  been 
forbidden  to  settle  within  the  city  limits.  The 
Koreans  were  a singularly  non-religious  people,  their 
main  faith  being  fear  of  demons. 

The  women  of  the  better  class  lived  absolutely 
secluded  lives,  and  regarded  the  strictness  of  their 
seclusion  as  proof  of  the  esteem  of  their  husbands. 
The  women  of  the  lower  classes  worked  hard,  in 
many  cases  supporting  their  families.  They  wore  an 
extraordinary  dress,  by  which  the  breasts  are  freely 
exposed,  and  the  chest  above  the  breast  carefully 
covered.  Although  the  women  were  kept  in  sub- 
servience, the  morality  of  the  country  was,  on  the 
whole,  good,  and  would  certainly  bear  very  favourable 
comparison  with  that  of  Japan. 

The  streets  of  Seoul  displayed  strange  sides  of 
life.  Now  a high  official  would  come  along  carried 
in  a sedan  chair,  preceded  by  self-important  under- 
lings who  would  shout  to  the  crowds  to  clear  the  way 
for  him.  Now  a man  would  walk  slowly  along 
dressed  in  cream-coloured  garments,  with  a monster 
hat,  largely  shutting  his  face  from  view,  and  holding 
a fan  in  front  of  him.  He  was  a mourner.  Under 
Korean  etiquette,  mourning  was  a most  severe  tax  on 
a man.  For  months,  or  years,  after  the  death  of  near 
relatives  he  had  to  keep  himself  out  of  sight  of  his 
fellows,  and  cut  off  his  usual  work.  Sedan  chairs, 
closely  shut,  containing  ladies  of  high  position,  would 
pass  in  constant  succession.  Ordinary  men  walking 
to  and  fro  were  all  attired  in  long  white  garments,  and 
all  wore  top-knots.  There  were  lines  of  shops  filled 


30 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


with  mean  brass  wares,  oiled  paper  and  eatables, 
for  Korea  was  a land  with  practically  no  manufactures. 
Now  a party  of  spearsmen  would  move  along,  with 
thickly  padded  garments,  their  faces  fiercely  frowning 
to  justify  their  reputation  for  bravery.  At  sunset  the 
gates  of  the  city  were  closed,  and  any  one,  were  he 
the  highest  in  the  land,  who  wished  to  go  in  and  out, 
would  have  to  climb  over  the  great  walls  that  sur- 
rounded Seoul.  As  darkness  came  on,  signal  fires 
were  lit  high  up  on  the  great  hills,  Namsan  and  the 
others,  four  lights  on  four  hills,  telling  watching 
signallers  in  distant  provinces  that  all  was  well,  and 
that  Korea  was  at  peace.  An  hour  after  sunset  all 
men  retired  within  doors,  and  the  women  came  out. 
This  was  the  women’s  hour,  when  they  could  parade 
the  streets  with  freedom.  Woe  be  to  the  unhappy 
male  who  found  himself  among  them  ! Then  the 
great  bell  in  the  centre  of  the  city  boomed  forth  its 
warning.  It  was  curfew,  and  Seoul  was  at  rest. 

It  is  difficult,  in  drawing  a picture  of  Korean  life 
at  that  time,  not  to  intensify  the  shadows  and  to 
exaggerate  the  miseries  of  the  people.  It  would  be 
hard  to  say  anything  too  bad  about  Seoul  itself,  but, 
so  far  as  the  country  people  were  concerned,  a vast 
number  of  them  lived  lives  of  prosperity  and  suffi- 
ciency. I doubt  if  there  was,  proportionately,  among 
the  Korean  people  outside  of  Seoul,  anything  like 
the  amount  of  suffering  there  is  among  the  English 
poor  to-day  outside  of  London.  There  were  few  or 
no  beggars  in  the  land.  There  was  no  need  of  an 
elaborate  poor-law  system.  The  countryman  owned 
and  worked  his  land,  and  was  able,  save  at  a time  of 


THE  COMING  OF  THE  FOREIGNER  31 


special  distress,  to  store  up  sufficient  in  the  autumn 
to  keep  him  and  his  for  the  coming  twelve  months. 
While  the  men  of  Seoul  were  lazy,  the  farmers  were 
diligent  and  were  good  husbandmen.  I have 
travelled  through  large  stretches  of  country  as  well 
tended  as  prosperous  European  districts.  The  chance 
visitor  was  apt  to  lose  all  sense  of  proportion  when 
witnessing  the  outstanding  abuses  and  contradictions 
of  Korean  life.  He  saw,  for  instance,  the  strange 
system  of  digging,  by  which  three  men  pulled  at 
a shovel  by  a system  of  leverage,  and  accomplished 
less  than  one  man  alone  would  have  done.  He  was 
revolted  by  the  sight  of  the  bodies  of  criminals 
decapitated  and  thrown  in  the  fields  for  the  birds 
and  dogs  to  eat.  He  was  estranged  by  the  spectacle 
of  an  occasional  tortured  or  beaten  prisoner.  The 
first  few  weeks  that  any  foreigner  spent  in  Korea 
were  full  of  repulsion  and  horror.  But  as  he 
came  to  know  the  people  better  he  learnt  more  and 
more  to  appreciate  their  kindheartedness,  their  lack 
of  guile,  their  genuine  simplicity,  their  willingness  to 
learn,  and  their  many  lovable  and  likeable  qualities. 
This  was  my  own  experience,  and  in  discussing 
Korean  life  with  those  who  know  it  better  than 
myself,  I have  learned  that  it  was  theirs.  I have 
found  the  Korean  a loyal  friend,  a faithful  servant, 
and  one  who,  when  given  the  chance,  is  capable  of 
much.  Corruption  and  cruelty  have,  to  some  extent, 
broken  his  courage  and  weakened  his  determination, 
yet  very  little  encouragement  will  induce  the  Korean 
servant  to  undertake  the  most  perilous  ventures. 
In  the  course  of  my  journeys  through  Korea  and 


32 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Manchuria,  I found  my  Korean  boys  take  risks  and 
carry  through  enterprises  at  which  an  uneducated 
English  lad  might  well  hesitate.  I found  them  serve 
me  faithfully,  loyally,  and  well.  They  have  in  their 
characters  great  potentialities. 

The  years  1883-4  marked  the  incoming  of  the 
foreigner  on  a large  scale.  A member  of  the  China 
Customs  service — Mr.  von  Moellendorf — was  ap- 
pointed to  organise  a Customs  department  on 
Chinese  lines ; an  English-language  school  was 
started  ; orders  were  given  abroad  for  thousands  of 
breech-loading  rifles,  for  electric-light  plant,  and  for 
foreign  live  stock,  seeds,  and  foods.  Messrs.  Jardine, 
Matheson  & Co.  established  a regular  steamship 
line  from  Shanghai  to  Korea.  A German- American 
started  a glass  factory  on  the  Han  river.  Foreign 
gold-mining  was  begun,  and  foreign  traders  arrived. 

Various  foreign  officials,  military  and  civil, 
were  engaged.  One  chief  adviser,  at  a salary  of 
1,000  dollars  per  month,  was  supposed  to  advise 
the  Government  on  foreign  affairs.  Americans, 
Frenchmen,  and  others  were  enlisted  to  start  enter- 
prises. These  enterprises  almost  uniformly  came  to 
nothing.  The  Korean  Government  would  commence 
a scheme,  secure  a man,  and  then  within  a few 
weeks  slacken  off.  Some  one  would  whisper  in  the 
King’s  ear  that  there  was  danger  in  the  new  idea,  and 
the  foreigner  who  arrived  full  of  hope  of  accom- 
plishing great  things  would  find  himself  hopelessly 
handicapped.  Thus,  at  one  time,  four  officers,  three 
American  and  one  Japanese,  were  engaged  to  train, 
first  a corps  of  cadets,  and  then  a body  of  4,000 


THE  COMING  OF  THE  FOREIGNER  33 


troops.  Money  was  granted  for  this,  but  the 
money  was  subjected  to  the  pickings  of  innumer- 
able palace  favourites.  The  officers  found  very  great 
difficulty  in  obtaining  even  their  salaries,  and  the 
chief  outcome  of  the  enterprise  was  that  cadets  and 
soldiers  were  given  new  uniforms.  A powder-mill 
was  started,  but  it  produced  no  powder.  The  troops 
were  squeezed  in  every  way.  One  serious  riot  in  the 
capital  was  due  to  the  fact  that  a high  dignitary  had 
caused  sand  to  be  mixed  with  the  soldiers’  rice,  so 
that  he  might  add  to  his  profit.  The  one  foreign 
department  that  was  run  with  real  efficiency  was  the 
Customs  service.  Korean  officials  who  really  desired 
to  do  well  were  hampered  by  foreign  action.  Thus, 
a Korean  general  in  charge  of  some  regiments  took 
the  representative  of  a European  Government  along 
one  day  to  inspect  his  troops.  “ Look  at  these  rifles,” 
the  general  said.  “ They  have  been  brought  from 
abroad.  There  are  six  different  varieties  of  them, 
and  not  one  is  any  good.  The  ammunition  will 
not  fit  the  guns.  How  am  I to  train  my  men  ? 
I want  to  make  them  capable  soldiers.  Could 
you  do  anything  with  them  if  your  contractors 
gave  you  weapons  like  these  ? ” 

About  the  middle  of  1884  a new  party  was 
beginning  to  make  its  influence  felt.  Certain  young 
Koreans,  who  had  been  over  to  Japan  to  study,  came 
back  as  out-and-out  advocates  of  immediate  reform. 
They  had  seen  what  the  Japanese  were  doing,  and 
they  wanted  to  do  the  same,  or  more,  in  Korea. 
They  would  have  Westernised  their  land,  had  it  been 
possible,  by  a stroke  of  the  pen.  These  young  men 

4 


34 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


threw  themselves  into  the  arms  of  the  Japanese 
officials,  and  together  they  hatched  all  kinds  of 
schemes  for  revolutionary  changes.  Opposed  to 
them  were  the  Chinese,  who  were  gaining  ever- 
increasing  control  of  the  Court.  Since  the  Chinese 
Government  sent  over  troops  in  the  summer  of  1882, 
it  had  constantly  and  successfully  endeavoured  to 
make  its  suzerainty  felt.  A considerable  Chinese 
force  was  maintained  around  Seoul.  One  of  the 
Chinese  high  officials  was  the  famous  Yuan  Shih 
Kai,  afterwards  to  be  the  maker  of  new  China,  and 
then  general  in  charge  of  the  troops. 

The  reformers  were  familiar  with  the  old  Korean 
method  of  political  transformation  by  murder,  and  it 
is  not  surprising  that  they  were  not  themselves  above 
adopting  it.  On  December  4th  a new  post  office  was 
opened,  and  a great  banquet  given.  The  leading 
officials  and  foreign  representatives  were  there, 
among  them  Ming  Yong  Ik,  the  Prime  Minister. 
In  the  course  of  the  dinner  Ming  Yong  Ik  was  called 
outside,  and  was  there  attacked  by  an  assassin,  who 
may  or  may  not  have  been  sent  by  the  reform  party. 
The  banquet  broke  up  in  great  confusion,  and  the 
reformers,  who  had  been  elaborately  preparing  for 
this  occasion,  seized  the  palace,  laid  hands  on  the 
King,  and  summoned  the  leaders  of  the  reactionaries 
into  their  presence.  As  each  leader  came  in  he  was 
attacked  and  killed,  until  eight  in  all  had  been 
murdered.  Then  the  reformers,  who  were  clearly 
acting  in  co-operation  with  the  Japanese,  made  the 
King  send  for  a Japanese  guard.  For  the  moment  it 
seemed  as  though  the  Japanese  and  the  reformers 


THE  COMING  OF  THE  FOREIGNER  35 


had  triumphed.  But  the  Chinese  generals  now  took 
a hand  in  the  game.  Between  2,000  and  3,000 
Chinese  soldiers,  under  Yuan  Shih  Kai,  sup- 
ported by  3,000  Koreans,  attacked  the  palace. 
It  was  defended  by  140  Japanese  soldiers,  who 
fought  desperately,  trying  to  hold  the  long  line 
of  the  walls.  It  was  evident  that  they  could  not 
drive  off  the  great  hosts  against  them,  so  in  the  end 
they  fired  a mine,  cleared  a way  for  themselves,  and 
fought  their  way  down  to  the  sea,  the  reformers  in 
their  midst.  As  for  the  post  office,  which  was  the 
start  of  all  the  trouble,  one  mail  was  received  in  it. 
The  building  was  then  burnt,  and  Korean  postal 
activity  came  to  an  end  for  several  years. 

The  excited  soldiers  and  townsmen,  not  content 
with  driving  off  the  Japanese,  made  an  attack  on  the 
other  foreigners.  Several  houses  were  burnt,  the 
Japanese  Legation  was  destroyed,  and  it  seemed  for 
a time  as  though  all  foreigners  might  be  massacred. 
The  American  Minister  and  the  British  and  German 
Consul-Generals  retired  to  Chemulpho.  For  some 
weeks  the  country  was  in  an  uproar.  Japan  promptly 
despatched  Count  Inouye  to  Chemulpho  as  Ambas- 
sador, accompanied  by  2,500  troops.  The  Chinese 
Ambassador  crossed  the  Yellow  Sea  backed  by  3,000 
soldiers.  Again  it  seemed  as  though  Korea  would 
bring  war  between  Japan  and  China,  but  once  more 
China  triumphed  and  Japan  took  second  place. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  but  that  the  whole  turmoil 
was  due  to  the  hasty  and  ill-advised  action  of  the 
reformers.  They  tried  to  do  too  much  in  too  short  a 
time,  and  their  Japanese  friends,  almost  equally 


36 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


inexperienced,  hurried  them  on  instead  of  keeping 
them  in  check.  The  outcome  was  bad  for  all. 
It  increased  the  trouble  between  China  and  Japan, 
and  it  greatly  strengthened  the  hands  of  the 
Chinese  party.  At  that  time  China  was  still  almost 
wholly  reactionary,  and  hence  real  reform  was  still 
further  delayed. 

In  April,  1885,  the  Japanese  scored  a point  in  a 
struggle  by  securing  an  agreement  with  China,  which 
provided  that  both  countries  should  withdraw  their 
troops  from  Korea  and  should  send  no  more  there 
without  having  previously  given  notice  to  the  other 
of  their  intention  to  do  so.  Such  troops  were  merely 
to  remain  temporarily,  and  Korea  was  to  be  invited 
to  raise  a sufficient  armed  force  to  ensure  her  security, 
the  force  to  be  drilled  by  officers  of  a third  Power. 


CHAPTER  IV 

THE  CHINO-JAPANESE  CONFLICT 
APAN,  repulsed  for  the  moment,  drew  back  and 


strengthened  her  forces.  She  had  long  been 


preparing  to  maintain  her  place  by  force  of  arms 
but  now  her  efforts  were  redoubled.  Officers  were 
sent  to  Germany  to  study  military  tactics  there. 
Foreign  instructors  were  engaged  and  were  used  to 
the  full.  Military  men  and  others  were  sent  as  spies 
to  China.  A new  fleet  was  built  up,  and  the  sailor- 
like qualities  of  the  Japanese  fishermen  were  turned 
to  the  management  of  ironclads  and  the  handling 
of  guns.  China,  doubtful,  hesitating,  and  wavering, 
moved  now  this  way  and  now  that.  Li  Hung  Chang 
made  some  preparations.  But  the  viceroys  and  the 
crowd  of  classic-sodden  censors  and  officials  at  Pekin 
crippled  his  energies.  Every  Chinaman  was  still 
imbued  with  the  feeling  of  the  superiority  of  his  own 
nation,  and  of  contempt  for  the  little  islanders.  To 
the  Chinese  it  seemed  as  incredible  that  the  wo-jin 
could  defeat  them  as  a few  years  later  it  seemed 
absurd  to  the  Russians  that  they  would  dare  pit 
themselves  against  the  might  of  the  Czar’s  great 
Empire. 


37 


38 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Korea  was  to  be  the  scene  of  the  first  move  in  the 
world-struggle  of  the  twentieth  century.  Korea 
slept  on  ! Certain  reforms  were  undertaken,  it  is 
true,  or  to  be  more  exact,  certain  feeble  attempts 
were  made  at  reform.  More  and  more  foreign 
advisers  came  in,  but  their  advice  was  rarely 
followed.  Missionaries  obtained  a steadily  growing 
influence  and  many  converts,  and  did  much  good. 
Dr.  H.  M.  Allen,  an  American  missionary,  opened  a 
Government  hospital,  and,  later  on,  became  American 
Minister  to  Korea.  Some  schools  were  started. 
Commerce  grew,  a foreign  community  became 
established  in  Seoul,  and  there  was  much  talk  of  the 
great  things  that  were  to  be  done.  But  Korea  never 
once  seriously  tackled  the  question  of  reform. 
Every  effort  was  stultified  by  the  corruption,  the 
weakness,  and  the  inefficiency  of  the  Court  officials. 
The  Chinese  Government  appointed  a Resident,  who 
claimed  many  privileges  and  ranked  himself  as  far 
above  the  representatives  of  the  white  Powers. 

By  1893,  Japan  was  ready  to  move  forward  and  to 
force  on  events.  The  Tai  Won  Kun  had  returned 
from  his  exile  in  1885,  and  he  and  the  Japanese 
authorities  entered  into  a friendly  alliance.  The  old 
Regent  was  now  shorn  of  many  of  his  former  honours, 
and  had  not  even  authority  enough  to  prevent  the 
imprisonment  of  one  of  his  favourite  nephews.  But 
he  still  could  claim  the  loyal  service  of  many  secret 
adherents,  and  he  began  gradually  acting  through 
them. 

A society  called  the  Tong-haks  rose  up  to  the 
south  of  the  country,  and  started  a serious  rebellion. 


JAPANESE  INFANTRY  ON  THE  WARPATH. 


THE  CHINO-JAPANESE  CONFLICT  39 


They  marched  towards  the  capital,  30,000  strong, 
and  reached  a spot  within  a hundred  miles  of  Seoul. 
Their  avowed  purpose  was  to  drive  the  Japanese  and 
all  foreigners  out  of  the  country,  and  to  insist  upon 
less  tyrannical  government.  The  common  belief 
among  foreigners  in  Seoul  was,  however,  that  their 
uprising  had  been  fostered  by  the  Japanese  in  order 
to  force  an  issue  with  China. 

In  the  spring  of  1894,  the  Tong-haks,  in  some 
mysterious  fashion,  acquired  a number  of  good 
weapons,  and  advanced  towards  Seoul,  capturing 
town  after  town.  Late  in  April,  some  800  Govern- 
ment soldiers,  backed  by  forty  Chinese  braves,  set 
out  against  the  rebel  forces,  but  were  defeated.  The 
Chinese  Resident,  General  Yuan,  at  once  saw  that 
the  rebels  could  threaten  the  capital  itself,  and  thus 
afford  the  Japanese  a pretext  for  actively  interfering 
and  restoring  order.  He  advised  the  King  to  beg 
for  the  aid  of  China,  so  that  soldiers  might  be  sent, 
and  the  rebellion  put  down.  The  King  very  re- 
luctantly did  this,  and,  on  June  5th,  a Chinese  force 
of  1,500  men  began  to  arrive  at  Asan,  a place  fifty 
miles  away  from  Seoul.  More  troops  followed,  and, 
in  the  end,  the  Chinese  soldiers  there  may  have 
numbered  4,000.  A notice  of  this  was  sent  to  the 
Japanese  Government,  as  required  under  the  Treaty 
of  April,  1885.  The  Japanese  Government  objected 
to  the  notice  on  the  grounds  that  China  referred  to 
Korea  as  a “ vassal  state,”  but  no  objection  was  raised 
at  the  time  to  the  despatch  of  the  troops. 

Four  days  after  the  landing  of  the  Chinese  at 
Asan  the  Japanese  Minister,  Mr.  Otori,  arrived  at 


40 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Chemulpho,  with  a guard  of  300  sailors.  It  had 
been  announced  in  advance  that  he  was  bringing 
thirty  constables  with  him,  and  when  the  Korean 
Government  saw  the  number  of  his  escort,  they  made 
feverish  endeavours  to  persuade  him  to  send  the 
sailors  back.  They  did  not  succeed,  and  when 
General  Yuan  asked  the  Japanese  Minister  why  he 
had  landed  such  a force,  the  reply  was  that  it  was 
simply  a guard  for  the  protection  of  the  Japanese  in 
Seoul  against  the  Tong-haks,  and  that  it  would  not 
be  retained,  but  would  be  replaced  by  a smaller 
body  of  soldiers.  On  June  13th  the  sailors  went 
back,  but  their  place  was  taken  by  1,200  soldiers, 
800  at  the  Legation  in  Seoul,  200  between  Seoul  and 
Chemulpho,  and  200  at  Chemulpho  itself.  General 
Yuan  again  protested,  and  was  assured  that  the 
despatch  of  so  many  soldiers  was  a mistake.  But 
their  coming  was  followed  by  the  arrival  of  3,000  more. 

This  brought  another  remonstrance  from  Yuan, 
and  Mr.  Otori  again  declared  that  the  arrival  of 
the  men  was  due  to  a misunderstanding,  and  that 
he  would  telegraph  to  have  them  sent  back.  But 
as  it  was  obviously  bad  to  keep  so  many  men  cooped 
up  on  board  ship,  he  would  land  them  for  exercise, 
without  their  arms.  Yuan  agreed,  whereupon  the 
3,000  men  were  landed,  fully  armed,  and  were 
marched  up  to  the  environs  of  Seoul.  There  were 
no  Chinese  troops  whatever  in  Seoul  at  this  time, 
the  one  Chinese  force  being  at  Asan.  The  Japanese 
were  now  also  trying  to  induce  China  to  co-operate 
with  them  in  making  Korea  accept  a joint  scheme  of 
internal  reform. 


THE  CHINO-JAPANESE  CONFLICT  41 


All  this  time  the  Korean  Government  was  implor- 
ing both  sides  to  withdraw  their  troops,  and  was 
begging  the  foreign  representatives  to  persuade  them 
to  do  this.  The  foreign  representatives  had  already 
been  urging  Yuan  and  Otori  in  this  direction,  and 
on  June  25th  they  sent  them  a formal  request  on 
the  subject.  Yuan  promptly  acknowledged  the 
receipt  of  the  note,  and  telegraphed  to  the  Grand 
Council  at  Pekin  for  instructions.  The  Grand  Council 
replied  on  the  same  night  agreeing  to  the  simul- 
taneous withdrawal  of  the  Chinese  and  Japanese 
forces.  This  fact  was  communicated  to  the  remain- 
ing foreign  representatives  next  morning.  The 
Japanese  Minister  acknowledged  the  receipt  of  the 
note. 

Mr.  Otori  had  meanwhile  been  attempting  to 
secure  an  audience  with  the  King,  and  the  King  had 
been  making  all  manner  of  excuses  to  delay  it. 
Japanese  troops  were  continuing  to  arrive,  until  their 
number  reached  about  10,000;  and,  on  June  26th, 
Mr.  Otori  had  his  audience.  He  took  up  a strong 
attitude,  and  made  a number  of  specific  demands. 
The  chief  of  these  was  that  the  Korean  Government 
should  clearly  disavow  the  Chinese  suzerainty  once 
and  for  all. 

The  King  expressed  his  amazement  at  the  threaten- 
ing tone  taken  by  the  Minister,  and  at  the  way  in 
which  he  was  bringing  over  soldiers  from  Japan. 
“ Let  us  talk  over  this  in  a friendly  fashion,”  he 
said.  “ But  how  can  we  be  friends  when  your 
soldiers  are  here  threatening  us?  Withdraw  the 
soldiers  and  then  we  will  talk.”  Mr.  Otori  bluntly 


42 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


replied  that  the  soldiers  would  remain  until  he  had 
been  granted  what  he  wanted. 

Two  or  three  days  later  the  First  Secretary  of  the 
Legation,  Mr.  Sugimura,  called  at  the  Korean 
Foreign  Office  early  in  the  morning,  and  demanded 
an  instant  declaration  from  Korea  that  she  was  not 
the  vassal  of  China.  He  threatened  that  if  this 
was  not  done,  the  Japanese  troops  would  at  once 
attack,  drive  the  Chinese  out  of  the  country,  and 
take  control  of  everything.  The  President  of  the 
Foreign  Office  promised  that  the  Japanese  should 
have  their  way,  and  he  showed  him  a draft  of  a 
note  disowning  responsibility  for  the  attitude  of  the 
Chinese  Government,  and  declaring  that  Korea  was 
independent  in  her  foreign  relations  and  in  her 
internal  administration.  With  this  Mr.  Sugimura 
expressed  himself  as  being  for  the  moment  satisfied. 

The  Japanese,  who  were  now  confident  that  they 
could  carry  all  before  them,  went  further.  On 
July  3rd,  Mr.  Otori  presented  another  series  of 
demands.  This  time  he  asked  for  the  appointment 
of  a secret  commission  that  was  to  be  named  by 
him  and  to  meet  at  the  Japanese  Legation.  He 
put  forward  another  list  of  claims  for  exclusive 
privileges  to  be  granted  to  Japan.  Among  these 
were  railway  concessions  from  Chemulpho  to  Seoul, 
and  from  Seoul  to  Fusan;  a monopoly  in  gold  mining 
for  the  Japanese;  the  opening  of  a new  port  to  the 
south-west  of  Korea,  and  a number  of  financial 
concessions.  He  also  asked  for  a reform  of  the 
Government. 

The  President  of  the  Foreign  Office  begged  the 


THE  CHINO-JAPANESE  CONFLICT  43 


advice  of  the  white  men,  and  they  recommended 
that  he  should  propose  a joint  discussion  by  all 
the  foreign  representatives  of  the  points  raised. 
This  was  not  done,  but  a meeting  was  held  to  talk 
over  the  neutrality  of  parts  of  Korea,  should  war 
take  place  between  China  and  Japan.  Both  General 
Yuan  and  Mr.  Otori  attended,  with  other  diplo- 
matic representatives.  All  present,  save  the  Japanese 
Minister,  urged  that,  if  war  broke  out,  the  two  Powers 
should  recognise  the  neutrality  of  Chemulpho,  of 
Seoul,  and  of  all  Treaty  ports.  Mr.  Otori  refused 
to  discuss  any  other  point  than  the  neutrality  of 
Chemulpho,  and  on  that  he  said  he  would  not  give 
any  pledges  without  instructions  from  his  Govern- 
ment, which  it  would  take  three  weeks  to  receive. 

Japan  had  clearly  resolved  on  war,  and  it  surprised 
no  one  when,  on  July  19th,  Japanese  troops  moved 
towards  Asan,  and  the  Japanese  Minister  delivered 
an  ultimatum  to  the  Korean  Government.  This 
ultimatum  demanded  that  the  Japanese  reforms  be 
accepted  unconditionally  in  three  days,  and  that  the 
Chinese  troops  be  called  upon  to  withdraw.  If  this 
were  not  done,  strong  measures  would  be  taken. 
The  Korean  Government,  still  convinced  that  Japan 
could  do  little  or  nothing  against  China,  replied  by 
refusing  to  promise  to  initiate  reforms,  so  long  as 
Seoul  was  menaced  by  the  Japanese  troops. 

This  is  not  the  place  to  describe  the  war  that 
followed  between  China  and  Japan.  Its  progress 
came  as  a surprise  to  the  world,  including  most  white 
residents  in  the  Far  East.  The  average  Chinaman 
felt  assured  that  in  a couple  of  months  the  Land 


44 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


of  the  Rising  Sun  would  be  turned  into  a region  of 
everlasting  darkness,  and  that  all  wo-jin  would  be 
killed ! What  could  forty  millions  do  against  more 
than  four  hundred  millions?  On  July  25th  the 
Japanese  opened  hostilities  by  blowing  up  a Chinese 
transport,  the  Kowshin,  with  1,200  men  on  board, 
as  she  was  approaching  Korea.  Then  came  rapid 
blows  by  the  Japanese  troops,  a temporary  Chinese 
victory  at  Asan,  followed  by  the  destruction  of  the 
army  at  Ping-yang,  the  naval  battle  of  the  Yalu,  in 
which  the  Chinese  fleet  was  destroyed,  the  capture  of 
Port  Arthur,  and  the  horrible  massacre  of  the  people 
there,  the  invasion  of  Manchuria,  the  capture  of 
Wei-hai-wei,  and  the  conclusion  of  the  Treaty  of 
Shimonoseki  on  April  17,  1895. 

A few  days  before  the  outbreak  of  the  war,  the 
Japanese  placed  themselves  in  control  of  the  Korean 
capital.  On  July  22nd,  a number  of  Japanese  troops 
entered  Seoul,  and  it  seemed  as  though  there  would 
be  fighting  between  them  and  the  native  soldiers ; 
but  the  Japanese  returned  to  their  settlement  in  the 
evening,  and  the  Koreans  dispersed.  At  dawn,  on 
the  following  day,  a body  of  Japanese  troops  quietly 
moved  towards  the  palace,  scaled  the  walls  with 
ladders,  and  after  a little  fighting  with  the  palace 
guard,  secured  possession  of  the  person  of  the  King. 
The  Japanese  immediately  sent  for  the  Tai  Won 
Kun,  who  had  co-operated  with  them  in  this  move, 
and  made  him  once  more  Regent.  He,  however, 
became  alarmed  at  the  steps  the  Japanese  were 
taking,  and  he  resigned  office  in  a few  days,  without 
ever  having  exercised  his  new  power.  At  the  same 


THE  CHINO-JAPANESE  CONFLICT  45 


time  as  the  palace  was  being  seized,  other  parties  of 
Japanese  troops  took  possossion  of  the  telegraph 
office  and  cut  down  the  wires,  seized  the  gates  of 
the  city,  occupied  some  Korean  military  camps  and 
assumed  supreme  power. 

The  Japanese  Minister  promptly  sent  a circula. 
to  the  foreign  representatives  telling  them  of  the 
seizure  of  the  palace,  and  of  the  causes  that  had  led 
up  to  it.  According  to  this  account,  some  Japanese 
troops  had  been  marching  by  the  side  of  the  palace 
in  order  to  camp  on  the  hills  beyond,  when  they 
were  fired  upon  by  Korean  soldiers.  The  Japanese 
returned  the  fire  in  self-defence,  and  were  subse- 
quently obliged  to  enter  and  guard  the  royal  apart- 
ments on  account  of  the  Koreans  continuing 
hostilities.  Mr.  Otori  gave  the  usual  Japanese 
assurances,  with  which  the  world  has  since  grown 
very  familiar,  that  his  Government  had  “ no  aggres- 
sive intentions  against  Korea.” 

That  afternoon  all  the  foreign  representatives, 
except  those  of  China  and  Japan,  visited  the  palace, 
at  the  royal  request.  There  they  found  the  King  and 
the  Crown  Prince  in  small  and  poor  quarters,  all 
their  better  rooms  being  now  occupied  by  Japanese. 
The  King  was  greatly  alarmed,  and  begged  the 
Consuls  to  remain  with  him  all  that  night,  for  he 
evidently  feared  that  he  would  be  killed.  The 
foreign  representatives  afterwards  saw  the  Regent, 
who  spoke  in  the  bitterest  terms  of  what  the 
Japanese  had  done,  but  his  denunciations  were 
received  with  some  scepticism. 

On  the  day  of  the  actual  outbreak  of  war  between 


46 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


China  and  Japan,  the  King,  yielding  to  force,  gave 
Mr.  Otori  authority  to  expel  the  Chinese  troops  from 
Korea.  A treaty  was  drawn  up  between  Japan  and 
Korea,  and  signed  the  following  month.  It  consisted 
of  three  articles : 

1.  That  the  independence  of  Korea  was  declared, 
confirmed,  and  established,  and  in  keeping  with  it  the 
Chinese  troops  were  to  be  driven  out  of  the  country. 

2.  That  while  war  against  China  was  being  carried 
on  by  Japan,  Korea  was  to  facilitate  the  movements 
and  to  help  in  the  food  supplies  of  the  Japanese 
troops  in  every  possible  way. 

3.  That  this  treaty  should  only  last  until  the 
conclusion  of  peace  with  China. 

Japan  at  once  created  an  assembly,  in  the  name 
of  the  King,  for  the  “ discussion  of  everything,  great 
and  small,  that  happened  within  the  realm.”  This 
assembly  at  first  met  daily,  and  afterwards  at  longer 
intervals.  There  were  soon  no  less  than  fifty 
Japanese  advisers  at  work  in  Seoul.  They  were 
men  of  little  experience  and  less  responsibility,  and 
they  apparently  thought  that  they  were  going  to 
transform  the  land  between  the  rising  and  setting 
of  the  sun.  They  produced  endless  ordinances,  and 
scarce  a day  went  by  save  that  a number  of  new 
regulations  were  issued,  some  trivial,  some  striking 
at  the  oldest  and  most  cherished  institutions  in  the 
country.  The  Government  was  changed  from  an 
absolute  monarchy  to  one  where  the  King  governed 
only  by  the  advice  of  his  Ministers.  The  power  of 
direct  address  to  the  throne  was  denied  to  any  one 
under  the  rank  of  Governor.  One  ordinance  created 


THE  CHINO-JAPANESE  CONFLICT  47 


a constitution,  and  the  next  dealt  with  the  status 
of  the  ladies  of  the  royal  seraglio.  At  one  hour  a 
proclamation  went  forth  that  all  men  were  to  cut 
their  hair,  and  the  wearied  runners  on  their  return 
were  again  despatched  hot  haste  with  an  edict 
altering  the  official  language.  Nothing  was  too 
small,  nothing  too  great,  and  nothing  too  contra- 
dictory for  these  constitution-mongers.  Their  doings 
were  the  laugh  and  the  amazement  of  every  foreigner 
in  the  place. 

Acting  on  the  Japanese  love  of  order  and  of 
defined  rank,  exact  titles  of  honour  were  provided 
for  the  wives  of  officials.  These  were  divided  into 
nine  grades  : “ Pure  and  Reverend  Lady,”  “ Pure 
Lady,”  “Chaste  Lady,”  “Chaste  Dame,”  “Worthy 
Dame,”  “Courteous  Dame,”  “Just  Dame,”  “Peace- 
ful Dame,”  and  “ Upright  Dame.”  At  the  same 
time  the  King’s  concubines  were  equally  divided, 
but  here  eight  divisions  were  sufficient : “ Mistress,” 
“ Noble  Lady,”  “ Resplendent  Exemplar,”  “ Chaste 
Exemplar,”  “ Resplendent  Demeanour,”  “ Chaste 
Demeanour,”  “ Resplendent  Beauty,”  and  “ Chaste 
Beauty.”  The  Japanese  advisers  instituted  a 
number  of  sumptuary  laws  that  stirred  the  country 
to  its  depths,  relating  to  the  length  of  pipes,  style 
of  dress,  and  the  attiring  of  the  hair  of  the  people. 
Pipes  were  to  be  short,  in  place  of  the  long  bamboo 
churchwarden  beloved  by  the  Koreans.  Sleeves 
were  to  be  clipped.  The  top-knot,  worn  by  all 
Korean  men,  was  at  once  to  be  cut  off.  Soldiers 
at  the  city  gates  proceeded  to  enforce  this  last 
regulation  rigorously. 


48 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


The  Japanese  could  have  done  nothing  better 
calculated  to  alienate  the  affection  of  every  Korean. 
To  the  Korean  lad  the  first  time  that  his  hair  is  made 
up  into  a top-knot  is  the  proudest  day  of  his  life,  for 
it  is  the  sign  that  he  has  passed  boyhood  and  entered 
into  man’s  estate.  The  top-knot  was  then  and  is 
still  to  a lesser  extent,  the  symbol  of  manhood,  and 
any  one  who  was  without  it  was  looked  upon  as  an 
utter  outcast.  Men  who  obeyed  the  ordinance  did 
so  often  with  bitter  tears,  and  always  with  a sense  of 
hatred  of  those  who  had  forced  it  on  them.  Had  the 
Japanese  been  content  to  go  more  slowly  here,  they 
would  have  gained  their  purpose  in  a much  more 
assured  fashion.  They  were  right  in  supposing  that 
the  top-knot  was  bound  to  disappear,  but  their 
mistake  lay  in  attempting  to  do  by  legislation 
what  should  have  been  left  to  the  growing  enlighten- 
ment of  the  people.  One  sees  in  Russian  Manchuria, 
for  instance,  where  no  pressure  whatever  is  brought 
on  the  great  multitudes  of  Koreans  settled  there 
to  alter  their  ways,  that  after  a very  few  years  the 
average  man  abandons  his  peculiarities  of  attire 
and  of  hair  dressing,  because  he  finds  it  convenient  to 
do  so.  My  own  Korean  servants,  after  a time  of 
association  with  Europeans,  came  to  realise  that  the 
top-knot,  the  long  sleeves,  and  the  very  big  hat  were 
impracticable  and  a nuisance,  and  some  of  them 
gave  them  up  in  consequence.  That  was  a natural 
and  proper  evolution.  The  hasty  Japanese  action 
secured  a far  longer  life  for  the  top-knot,  for  to 
many  people  this  knot  became  a symbol  henceforth, 
not  merely  of  old  Korean  life,  but  of  national  loyalty. 


THE  CHINO-JAPANESE  CONFLICT  49 


Japanese  troops  remained  in  the  palace  for  a 
month,  and  the  King  was  badly  treated  during  that 
time.  It  did  not  suit  the  purpose  of  the  Japanese 
Government  just  then  to  destroy  the  old  Korean 
form  of  administration.  It  was  exceedingly  doubt- 
ful how  far  the  European  Powers  would  permit 
Japan  to  extend  her  territory,  and  so  the  Japanese 
decided  to  allow  Korea  still  to  retain  a nominal 
independence.  The  King  and  his  Ministers  implored 
Mr.  Otori  to  withdraw  his  soldiers  from  the  royal 
presence.  Mr.  Otori  agreed  to  do  so,  at  a price,  and 
his  price  was  the  royal  consent  to  a number  of  conces- 
sions that  would  give  Japan  almost  a monopoly  of 
industry  in  Korea.  The  Japanese  guard  marched 
out  of  the  palace  on  August  25th,  and  was  replaced 
by  Korean  soldiers  armed  with  sticks.  Later  on 
the  Korean  soldiers  were  graciously  permitted  to 
carry  muskets,  but  they  were  not  served  out  with 
any  ammunition.  Japanese  troops  still  retained 
possession  of  the  palace  gates  and  adjoining 
buildings. 

Another  movement  took  place  at  this  time  as  the 
result  of  Japanese  supremacy.  The  Ming  family — 
the  family  of  the  Queen — was  driven  from  power 
and  the  Mings,  who  a few  months  before  held 
all  the  important  offices  in  the  kingdom,  were 
wiped  out  of  public  life,  so  much  so  that  there 
was  not  a single  Ming  in  one  of  the  new  departments 
of  state. 

The  action  of  the  Japanese  created  great  resent- 
ment throughout  the  country.  The  indignities  to 
which  the  King  was  submitted  in  particular  caused 

5 


50 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


a sense  of  horror  among  a people  difficult  to  move 
to  united  action  on  public  affairs.  The  only  friends 
of  Japan  at  that  time  were  a few  Korean  officials, 
financially  and  personally  interested.  The  foreign 
representatives  in  Seoul  were  as  anti- Japanese  as  the 
Koreans  themselves. 


Photograph  by] 


A GATEWAY  OF  CHONG-JU 


| F.  A.  McKenzie 


CHAPTER  V 


THE  MURDER  OF  THE  QUEEN 
HE  spring  of  1895  saw  great  excitement 


and  agitation  throughout  Korea.  The 
Japanese  success  in  the  China  war  was  followed 
by  the  beginning  of  a policy  that  clearly  pointed 
to  the  commercial  absorption  of  the  country. 
In  May  the  foreign  representatives  were  driven 
to  protest  against  the  granting  of  monopolies, 
and  the  exclusion  of  their  nationals  from  com- 
mercial opportunities.  A large  number  of  low- 
class  Japanese  appeared  in  all  parts,  and  the 
Japanese  soldiers  adopted  a much  more  aggressive 
and  domineering  attitude.  The  more  prudent 
Japanese  themselves  saw  the  danger  of  this. 
Count  Inouye,  who  had  succeeded  Mr.  Otori  as 
Minister  to  Korea,  was  unceasing  in  his  warnings 
as  to  the  injury  this  conduct  would  cause.  He 
made  formal  representations  to  his  own  Govern- 
ment about  the  violent  ways  and  rascalities  of 
these  emigrants.  They  had  been  cheating  and 
lying  to  the  Koreans,  he  declared,  and  bring- 
ing disgrace  upon  Japan.  If  steps  were  not  at 
once  taken  to  repress  them,  every  particle  of 


52 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


respect  for  Japan  would  be  crushed  out  in  Korea. 
“The  Japanese  residents  in  Korea  must  be 
reformed,”  he  said.  The  Count  made  three 
charges  against  his  fellow-countrymen  in  Korea : 
lack  of  co-operation,  arrogance,  and  extravagance, 
and  backed  each  point  in  his  indictment  with  forcible 
illustrations.  Under  the  second  head  he  said  : — 
“The  Japanese  are  not  only  impolite,  but  they 
often  insult  the  Koreans.  They  are  rude  in  their 
treatment  of  Korean  customers,  and  when  there 
is  some  slight  misunderstanding  they  do  not 
hesitate  to  appeal  to  fists,  and  even  go  as  far  as 
to  throw  Koreans  into  rivers  or  use  weapons. 
Merchants  thus  frequently  become  rowdies,  and 
many  of  them  are  consequently  convicted.  Those 
who  are  not  merchants  are  still  more  rude  and 
violent.  They  say  they  have  made  Korea  inde- 
pendent, they  have  suppressed  the  Tong-haks,  and 
those  Koreans  who  dare  oppose  them,  who  dare 
disobey  them,  are  ungrateful  fellows.  How  can 
the  Koreans  help  being  frightened  by  the  Japanese? 
But  flight  follows  fright,  and  hatred  follows  dislike. 
Then  it  is  only  natural  for  Koreans  to  seek 
friendship  with  other  foreigners.  With  restoration 
of  peace  many  Chinese  are  coming  again  to 
Korea  ; and  if  the  Japanese  continue  in  their 
arrogance  and  rudeness,  all  the  respect  and  love 
due  to  them  will  be  lost,  and  there  will  remain 
hatred  and  enmity  against  them.” 

The  Count  talked  in  the  same  way  to  the  white 
residents  in  Seoul.  “ When  our  troops  first  entered 
Korea  to  repress  the  Tong-haks,”  he  told  on 


THE  MURDER  OF  THE  QUEEN  53 


American,  “ they  paid  for  every  yen’s  worth  of 
supplies.  They  were  considerate  and  kind,  and  they 
were  well  received.  Since  the  war  they  have  behaved 
more  like  conquerors.  The  people  have  been  some- 
what incensed  against  them,  and  in  this  have  been 
stimulated  by  intriguers  who  are  interested  in 
poisoning  them  against  the  Japanese.” 

An  English  paper  published  at  Seoul,  the  Korean 
Repository , backed  up  the  Count’s  complaints  : — 

“ We  had  not  noticed  to  any  considerable  extent 
this  kind  of  arrogance  among  the  Japanese  in  the 
capital  before  the  war.  But  since  the  Japanese 
supremacy  in  Korea  this  spirit  has  manifested  itself. 
We  understand  from  a trustworthy  source  that 
traders  in  the  country  and  in  cities  outside  Seoul  are 
extremely  rude  and  violent  in  their  treatment  of 
Koreans.  Not  a day  passes  but  some  harmless 
Korean  is  defrauded  and  insulted.  He  ventures  to 
expostulate,  he  tries  to  resist,  only  to  find  that  the 
barbarian  (we  should  use  the  same  term  in  charac- 
terising similar  acts  of  our  countryman)  from  across 
the  sea  has  more  muscle  and  skill  than  he  has,  and 
that  both  will  be  used  when  necessity  demands. 
What  do  these  adventurers  care  for  law  ? They  are 
after  money,  and  the  rights  of  Koreans  do  not  enter 
into  the  account.  Japan  is  to  be  congratulated  that 
Count  Inouye  sees  these  evils,  and  we  may  be  quite 
sure  that  ‘ unless  the  general  Japanese  correct  them- 
selves,’ measures  will  be  provided  by  the  Government 
to  do  it  for  them.” 

The  Council  of  State  was  still  turning  out  its 
resolutions  of  reform,  urged  thereto  by  the  Japanese 


54 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


advisers.  Some  of  these  reforms  were  excellent,  and 
had  it  been  possible  to  vivify  a people  by  legisla- 
tion alone,  then  they  would  no  doubt  have  done  the 
work.  Among  the  men  who  now  came  to  the  front 
were  several  of  the  participants  in  the  emeute  of 
1882,  who  were  brought  back  by  the  Japanese. 
Their  leader,  Prince  Pak  Yong  Hio,  a son-in-law  of 
the  last  King,  became  Premier  and  Home  Minister. 
He  was  twenty-three  years  old  at  the  time  of  the 
attempted  murder  of  the  Conservative  leaders,  and 
he  had  escaped  to  Japan,  where  he  learnt  more 
wisdom  and  caution.  The  Japanese,  no  doubt, 
thought  that  he  would  be  a convenient  tool  in  their 
hands.  But  Pak  had  no  intention  of  lending  himself 
to  the  service  of  any  but  his  own  countrymen.  He 
entered  upon  his  duties  with  the  determination  to 
build  up  a new  Korea.  He  proposed  various  reforms. 
He  wanted  a real  army,  drilled  after  new  methods. 
He  sought  to  have  the  limited  nature  of  the  monarchy 
clearly  set  forth  and  recognised.  He  was  strongly  in 
favour  of  education,  and  was  a friend  of  the  mis- 
sionaries. He  looked  specially  to  America  to  aid 
Korea. 

“You  can  do  us  a great  deal  of  good,”  he  told  one 
American.  “You  are  so  far  away  that  you  would 
not  be  suspected  of  selfish  designs.  What  our  people 
need  is  education  and  Christianisation.  Through 
your  missionaries  and  your  mission  schools  you 
could  educate  and  elevate  our  people.  It  would  be  a 
great  aid,  and  perhaps  a tedious  work,  but  your  great 
Republic  could  do  this.  Your  missionaries  have 
already  done  good  work  in  Korea.  Our  old  religions 


THE  MURDER  OF  THE  QUEEN  55 


sit  lightly,  and  the  way  to  Christian  conversion  is 
open.  An  army  of  Christian  teachers  and  workers 
should  be  placed  in  every  section  of  our  country. 
Our  people  should  be  educated  and  Christianised 
before  they  undertake  any  constitutional  reform. 
Then  we  shall  have  constitutional  government  and, 
in  the  distant  future,  perhaps,  a free  and  enlightened 
country  such  as  yours.” 

When,  however,  the  Japanese  asked  Pak,  in  his 
capacity  as  Home  Minister,  for  various  concessions 
and  privileges,  they  found  that  he  was  very  unwilling 
to  give  away  any  Korean  rights.  The  Minister  was 
distrusted  by  his  fellow-countrymen,  who  believed 
him  to  be  a mere  agent  of  the  Japanese  Government. 
He  was  disliked  by  the  Japanese  because  he  would 
not  yield  them  what  they  wanted. 

For  some  months  a new  power  had  been  coming 
more  and  more  to  the  front  in  Korea.  Russia  was 
making  her  way  eastwards.  The  Trans-Siberian 
Railway  was  now  being  pushed  forward  to  the  Pacific, 
and  Russian  agents  were  showing  the  utmost  activity 
in  every  Asian  Court.  In  Seoul,  in  particular,  the 
Russians  had  adopted  a bold  and  aggressive  policy. 

The  temporary  triumph  of  the  Tai  Won  Kun  was 
not  to  continue.  The  Queen,  a little,  pale-cheeked, 
thin-faced  woman,  kind  to  her  friends  and  implac- 
able to  her  foes,  again  came  to  the  front.  Step  by 
step  she  restored  her  family  to  favour.  She  intrigued, 
now  with  the  Japanese  and  now  against  them,  and 
each  week  saw  her  adding  to  her  power.  By  the 
summer  of  that  year  the  old  Regent  was  in  utter 
disgrace,  and  then  the  Queen  secured  the  overthrow 


56 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


of  Pak  Yong  Hio.  A Japanese  coolie  started  a 
rumour  that  the  Home  Minister  was  conspiring 
against  the  King  and  Queen.  The  steps  Pak  was 
taking  to  limit  the  powers  of  the  monarchy  gave 
some  countenance  to  this  story.  Pak  was  too  honest 
a man  to  have  many  partisans.  Word  was  brought 
to  him  that  an  order  had  been  issued  by  the  Court 
depriving  him  of  his  portfolio,  and  knowing  that  this 
meant  at  least  imprisonment,  he  hastily  donned  an 
old  suit  over  his  official  garb,  mounted  a horse,  rode 
away  to  the  Japanese  Legation,  and  asked  for  pro- 
tection there.  The  next  day  he  left  the  Legation 
clad  in  European  clothes,  and  got  away  on  board  a 
Japanese  steamer,  narrowly  escaping  arrest.  “ My 
trouble  has  come  upon  me  solely  through  the 
Queen,”  he  said.  “She  is  a very  shrewd  and  ambitious 
woman.  She  has  but  one  aim,  and  that  is  to  keep 
the  Ming  family  in  power.  So  long  as  the  Mings 
rule  there  will  be  little  change  in  Korea.  Our  people 
to-day  are  the  subjects  of  a Royal  mistress  who  can 
dispose  of  them  as  she  pleases.  Their  lives  and  their 
property  belong  to  the  Royal  Family.”  It  was  believed 
that  Count  Inouye  would  insist  upon  the  Korean 
Court  retaining  Pak’s  services,  but  he  did  not  do  so. 
Pak  left  Korea  solemnly  warning  his  countrymen 
that  if  they  were  not  careful  Japan  would  destroy 
them.  “If  Japan  establishes  a protectorate  over 
Korea,”  he  said,  “ she  will  eventually  absorb  or 
control  the  country.  Japan  has  guaranteed  our 
independence,  and  I want  to  see  that  independence 
so  maintained.” 

As  the  summer  went  on,  it  became  more  and 


THE  MURDER  OF  THE  QUEEN  57 


more  clear  that  the  Queen  was  working  in  direct 
hostility  to  Japanese  interests.  Count  Inouye  had 
a long  interview  with  her  shortly  before  he  left 
for  Tokyo.  He  described  the  state  of  affairs  in  an 
important  despatch  to  his  Government: — 

“ On  one  occasion  the  Queen  observed  to  me : 
During  the  disturbance  in  the  Royal  palace  last 
year  the  Japanese  troops  unexpectedly  escorted  to 
the  palace  the  Tai  Won  Kun,  who  regarded  Japan 
from  the  first  as  his  enemy.  He  resumed  the  control 
of  the  Government,  the  King  becoming  only  a 
nominal  ruler.  In  a short  time,  however,  the  Tai 
Won  Kun  had  to  resign  the  reins  of  government 
to  the  King  through  your  influence,  and  so  things 
were  restored  to  their  former  state.  The  new 
Cabinet  subsequently  framed  rules  and  regulations, 
making  its  power  despotic.  The  King  was  a mere 
tool,  approving  all  matters  submitted  by  the  Cabinet. 
It  is  a matter  of  extreme  regret  to  me  (the  Queen) 
that  the  overtures  made  by  me  towards  Japan 
were  rejected.  The  Tai  Won  Kun,  on  the  other 
hand  (who  showed  his  unfriendliness  towards  Japan) 
was  assisted  by  the  Japanese  Minister  to  rise  in 
power.  . . . 

“ I (Count  Inouye)  gave,  as  far  as  I could,  an 
explanation  of  these  things  to  the  Queen,  and  after 
so  allaying  her  suspicions,  I further  explained 
that  it  was  the  true  and  sincere  desire  of  the 
Emperor  and  Government  of  Japan  to  place  the 
independence  of  Korea  on  a firm  basis,  and  in 
the  meantime  to  strengthen  the  Royal  house  of 
Korea.  In  the  event  of  any  member  of  the  Royal 


58 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Family,  or  indeed  any  Korean,  therefore,  attempting 
treason  against  the  Royal  house,  I gave  the  assurance 
that  the  Japanese  Government  would  not  fail  to 
protect  the  Royal  house  even  by  force  of  arms, 
and  so  secure  the  safety  of  the  kingdom.  These 
remarks  of  mine  seemed  to  move  the  King  and 
Queen,  and  their  anxiety  for  the  future  appeared 
to  be  much  relieved.” 

The  Count  openly  expressed  great  respect  for 
the  shrewdness  and  political  sagacity  of  the  Queen. 
“ She  has  many  enemies  in  Korea,”  he  said,  “ but 
she  is  a woman  of  unusual  force,  although  given 
to  superstitious  practices.  She  fears  for  her  son, 
who  is  a remarkably  bright  and  promising  lad, 
and  she  is  constantly  praying  to  Buddhist  gods 
for  his  safety.” 

Count  Inouye  was  succeeded  at  the  beginning 
of  September  by  General  Viscount  Miura,  an  old 
soldier  who  had  taken  a prominent  part  in  the  civil 
wars.  Miura  had  the  reputation  of  being  a man 
of  the  sternest  manner,  a strict  religionist,  and  a 
Buddhist  of  the  Zen  school,  who  carried  the 
ascetic  practices  of  his  sect  to  their  utmost 
extreme.  He  found  himself  constantly  met  by  the 
Queen’s  stubborn  opposition.  In  scheme  after  scheme 
he  was  checkmated  by  her.  The  King,  weak, 
irresolute,  and  easily  turned  from  his  purpose, 
was  regarded  by  both  sides  as  little  more  than  a 
cypher.  The  Queen  was  the  one  whom  Japan  had 
to  fear,  and  Miura  knew  it.  How  was  he  to  over- 
come her?  His  First  Secretary,  Sugimura,  was  all 
in  favour  of  extreme  measures. 


THE  MURDER  OF  THE  QUEEN  59 


The  Tat  Won  Kun  and  the  new  Minister  now 
came  in  touch  with  one  another.  According  to  the 
Japanese  account,  Miura  was  secretly  approached 
by  the  ex-Regent,  but  probably  Sugimura  acted 
as  the  go-between  and  planned  out  the  course  of 
action.  The  Tai  Won  Kun  desired  to  return  to 
power,  the  Minister  wished  to  strengthen  the 
declining  influence  of  Japan.  Only  one  little 
woman  stood  in  the  way  of  both  their  desires. 
Once  she  was  swept  aside,  all  must  go  well.  The 
two  parties  had  several  conferences  regarding  their 
line  of  action,  and  everything  was  done  between 
them  with  a due  observance  of  business  forms. 
On  October  3rd,  Miura,  Sugimura,  and  Okamoto, 
the  Japanese  adviser  to  the  Korean  Department 
of  War  and  of  the  Household,  met  in  the  Legation 
to  decide  upon  their  plan  of  campaign.  No  moves 
were  to  be  made  unless  the  ex-Regent  would 
definitely  pledge  himself  to  refrain  from  interfering 
in  the  actual  administration  of  the  country,  and  to 
grant  the  Japanese  the  commercial  and  political 
privileges  they  desired.  These  demands  were  drawn 
up  in  writing.  If  he  consented  to  them,  the 
Japanese  troops,  the  Japanese  police  and  the 
native  soldiers,  the  Kunrentai,  drilled  and  officered 
by  Japanese,  were  to  attack  the  palace,  make  the 
King  a prisoner,  kill  the  Queen,  and  declare  the 
Regent  supreme.  To  quote  the  exact  words  of  the 
Japanese  official  report : “ It  was  further  resolved 
that  this  opportunity  should  be  availed  of  for  taking 
the  life  of  the  Queen,  who  exercised  overwhelming 
influence  in  the  Court.” 


6o 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Okamoto  visited  the  Tai  Won  Kun  at  his  country 
house,  showed  him  the  document  and  urged  him 
to  join.  The  old  man,  who  was  now  eighty  years 
of  age,  his  son  and  his  grandson  agreed,  and  gave 
a written  promise  to  place  themselves  in  the  hands 
of  Japan.  In  order  to  cover  the  tracks  of  the 
conspirators,  and  to  remove  any  suspicion  that 
might  be  aroused  by  the  visit,  it  was  given  out 
that  Okamoto  was  departing  for  his  own  country 
and  that  he  had  gone  to  Tai  Won  Kun  to  bid 
him  farewell. 

Events  were  hastened  by  the  action  of  the  Court 
party. 

Some  weeks  before  this  the  Kunrentai  troops — 
the  soldiers  under  Japanese  officers — had  quarrelled 
with  the  city  police,  and  killed  a number  of  them. 
The  Ministers  proposed  to  take  advantage  of  this 
and  disband  the  regiment.  The  Minister  for  War 
visited  the  Japanese  Legation  and  betrayed  the  plan. 
Thereupon  it  was  resolved  to  make  the  attempt  on 
the  Queen  that  very  night.  Colonel  Kunsunose, 
Commandant  of  the  Japanese  troops  in  Seoul,  was 
already  at  Chemulpho  on  his  way  home  on  leave. 
A telegram  was  sent  to  him  to  return  at  once. 
He  was  ordered  to  go  to  the  palace  with  his 
troops  under  the  cover  of  darkness,  to  guard  the 
gates  during  an  attack,  and  to  permit  no  persons, 
male  or  female,  to  leave.  Miura  summoned  a few 
Japanese  soshi,  professional  bullies,  revealed  his  plan 
to  them,  and  bade  them  collect  their  friends  and  help 
him  carry  it  out.  Again  I quote  the  official  report : 
“ Miura  told  them  that  on  the  success  of  the  enter- 


THE  MURDER  OF  THE  QUEEN  61 


prise  depended  the  eradication  of  the  evils  that  had 
done  so  much  mischief  in  the  kingdom  for  the  past 
twenty  years,  and  instigated  them  to  despatch  the 
Queen  when  they  entered  the  palace.”  The  Japanese 
police  were  also  instructed  to  co-operate,  and  the 
Korean  partisans  of  the  Tai  Won  Kun  were  sum- 
moned by  messenger  to  assemble  and  to  assist.  The 
Japanese  police,  it  may  be  said,  were  ordered  to  put 
on  civilian  dress,  and  provide  themselves  with  swords. 
Two  of  the  soshi,  Adachi  Kenzo  and  Kunitomo 
Shigearika,  collected  twenty-four  like-minded  bullies, 
and  about  one-half  of  these,  acting  as  an  inner  group, 
were  given  special  orders  to  find  the  Queen  and  kill 
her.  Draft  manifestos  were  drawn  up  in  advance  for 
publication  after  the  murder. 

About  three  o’clock  on  the  morning  of  the  8th  the 
Tai  Won  Kun  set  out  from  his  country  residence 
with  a party  of  Japanese,  headed  by  Okamoto.  The 
latter  first  paraded  all  his  followers  outside  the  main 
gate  of  the  Prince’s  residence,  and  told  them  that  the 
“ fox,”  meaning  the  Queen,  was  to  be  dealt  with  as 
circumstances  might  decide.  The  entire  party  pro- 
ceeded towards  the  west  gate  of  the  city,  met  the 
Kunrentai,  and  waited  for  the  arrival  of  the  Japanese 
soldiers.  Then  all  moved  on,  the  Kunrentai  to  the 
front.  The  Japanese  officers  in  charge  of  the  Kun- 
rentai troops,  the  police,  and  the  bullies  made  a 
central  group.  There  was  no  difficulty  in  entering, 
when  they  reached  the  palace,  for  the  gates  were  in 
the  hands  of  Japanese  soldiers.  Most  of  the  regular 
troops  paraded  outside,  according  to  orders.  Some 
went  inside  the  grounds  accompanied  by  the  rabble, 


02 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


and  others  moved  to  the  sides  of  the  palace,  surround- 
ing it  to  prevent  any  from  escaping.  A body  of  men 
attacked  and  broke  down  the  wall  near  to  the  Royal 
apartments. 

Rumours  had  reached  the  palace  that  some  plot 
was  in  progress,  but  no  one  seems  to  have  taken 
much  trouble  to  maintain  special  watch.  There  were 
two  foreigners  in  charge  of  the  palace  guards,  Mr. 
Sabatine,  a Russian,  and  General  Dye,  an  American. 
Neither  of  these  came  out  of  the  affair  with  enhanced 
reputation.  General  Dye  was  a very  charming  old 
gentleman,  skilled  in  growing  apples.  The  products 
of  his  orchard  were  the  admiration  of  his  neighbours, 
but  he  was  of  little  use  in  protecting  his  Royal  em- 
ployers. I have  been  unable  to  find  out  exactly  what 
he  did  during  the  subsequent  events,  but  he  seems  to 
have  been  shut  in  a room  and  to  have  done  nothing. 
Sabatine  was  brushed  on  one  side  by  the  conspirators, 
and  threatened  with  death  if  he  interfered.  What- 
ever the  excuses  of  these  two  men,  the  damning  fact 
remains  that  they  lived  through  that  night  without 
suffering  so  much  as  a scratch,  and  without  striking  a 
blow  for  the  woman  they  were  paid  to  protect. 

At  the  first  sign  of  the  troops  breaking  down  the 
walls  and  entering  through  the  gates,  there  was  con- 
fusion throughout  the  palace.  Some  of  the  Korean 
bodyguard  tried  to  resist,  but  after  a few  of  them  were 
shot  the  others  retired.  The  Royal  apartment  was 
of  the  usual  one-storied  type,  led  to  by  a few  stone 
steps,  and  with  carved  wooden  doors  and  oiled-paper 
windows.  The  Japanese  made  straight  for  it,  and, 
when  they  reached  the  small  courtyard  in  front,  their 


THE  MURDER  OF  THE  QUEEN  63 


troops  paraded  up  before  the  entrance,  while  the 
soshi  broke  down  the  doors  and  entered  the  rooms. 
Some  caught  hold  of  the  King  and  presented  him 
with  a document  by  which  he  was  to  divorce  and 
repudiate  the  Queen.  Despite  every  threat,  he 
refused  to  sign  this.  Others  were  pressing  into 
the  Queen’s  apartments.  The  Minister  of  the  House- 
hold tried  to  stop  them,  but  was  killed  on  the  spot. 
The  soshi  seized  the  terrified  palace  ladies,  who 
were  running  away,  dragged  them  round  and  round 
by  their  hair,  and  beat  them,  demanding  that  they 
should  tell  where  the  Queen  was.  They  moaned  and 
cried  and  declared  that  they  did  not  know.  Now  the 
men  were  pressing  into  the  side-rooms,  some  of  them 
hauling  the  palace  ladies  by  their  hair.  Okamoto, 
who  led  the  way,  found  a little  woman  hiding  in  a 
corner,  grabbed  her  head,  and  asked  her  if  she  were 
the  Queen.  She  denied  it,  freed  herself,  with  a 
sudden  jerk,  and  ran  into  the  corridor,  shouting  as 
she  ran.  Her  son,  who  was  present,  heard  her  call 
his  name  three  times,  but,  before  she  could  utter 
more,  the  Japanese  were  on  her  and  had  cut  her 
down.  Some  of  the  female  attendants  were  dragged 
up,  shown  the  dying  body,  and  made  to  recognise 
it,  and  then  three  of  them  were  put  to  the 
sword. 

The  conspirators  had  brought  kerosene  with  them. 
They  threw  a bedwrap  around  the  Queen,  probably 
not  yet  dead,  and  carried  her  to  a grove  of  trees  in 
the  deer  park  not  far  away.  There  they  poured 
the  oil  over  her,  piled  faggots  of  wood  around, 
and  set  all  on  fire.  They  fed  the  flames  with  more 


64 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


and  more  kerosene,  until  everything  was  consumed, 
save  a few  bones. 

Almost  before  the  body  was  alight  the  Tai  Won 
Kun  was  being  borne  into  the  palace  under  an  escort 
of  triumphant  Japanese  soldiers.  He  at  once  assumed 
control  of  affairs.  The  King  was  made  a prisoner  in 
his  palace.  The  Tai  Won  Kun’s  partisans  were  sum- 
moned to  form  a Cabinet,  and  orders  were  given  that 
all  officials  known  to  have  been  of  the  Queen’s  party 
should  be  arrested. 


The  report  of  Colonel  Hyun-in-Tak,  officer  in 
charge  of  the  Korean  bodyguard,  supplies  some 
interesting  details.  Colonel  Hyun  handed  this  state- 
ment to  Dr.  Allen,  the  American  Acting  Minister,  a 
few  days  afterwards  : — 

“ At  2 a.m.  on  the  twentieth  day  of  the  eighth 
moon,  504  years  since  the  foundation  of  the  present 
dynasty,  two  of  His  Majesty’s  private  police,  who  had 
been  despatched  to  go  round  the  wall  of  the  palace 
on  duty  to  watch,  told  me  that  about  200  Japanese 
soldiers  had  just  gone  into  the  Sam-kom-Boo,  the 
barracks  in  front  of  the  palace.  I sent  soldiers  to 
inquire  and  found  the  above  statement  true.  At 
four  o’clock,  on  being  informed  that  Japanese  troops 
surrounded  the  north-western  gate  of  the  palace,  and 
that  they  were  climbing  up  in  the  middle  part  of  the 
north  mountain  facing  towards  the  palace  grounds, 
and  that  Japanese  and  Korean  soldiers  were  breaking 
the  front  gate  of  the  palace,  1 gave  orders  to  place 


THE  MURDER  OF  THE  QUEEN  65 


soldiers  of  His  Majesty’s  bodyguard  at  all  parts  of 
the  palace  to  make  resistance. 

“Then  I heard  that  Japanese  troops  had  climbed 
over  the  wall  of  the  north-western  gate,  so  I went  and 
found  that  about  a hundred  Japanese  troops  had 
already  come  into  the  back  grounds  of  the  palace. 
I shut  the  gate  leading  to  these  grounds,  and  was  in 
the  act  of  resisting  with  soldiers,  but  the  Japanese 
troops  rushed  into  the  palace  shooting  from  the 
front  gate,  which  was  opened  to  them.  The  soldiers 
of  His  Majesty’s  bodyguard  resisted  by  shooting,  but 
they  were  finally  defeated  and  dispersed.  Now  the 
Japanese  troops  all  rushed  to  His  Majesty’s  family 
house  and  surrounded  it.  About  twenty  Japanese 
came,  dressed  in  ordinary  European  clothes,  with 
swords,  and  some  in  Japanese  native  costume,  also 
with  swords,  and  some  regular  Japanese  soldiers, 
carrying  rifles  on  their  shoulders.  They  got  hold 
of  me  and  tied  my  hands  behind  my  back,  and  they 
asked  me,  ‘ Where  is  the  Queen  ? ’ beating  me  all  the 
time.  I replied, ‘I  do  not  know.’  They  asked  my 
name,  and  I gave  it.  They  then  dragged  me  to 
His  Majesty’s  family  house,  still  questioning  me  as  to 
where  the  Queen  was.  I said,  ‘ I do  not  know  where 
she  is,  even  if  you  kill  me.’  They  dragged  me  in 
front  of  His  Majesty,  and  pressed  me  to  point  out 
the  Queen,  and  I still  said  I did  not  know  where  she 
was.  They  took  me  to  a building  called  the  Kark 
Kum  Chung.  I was  being  beaten  all  the  time. 
Suddenly  a lot  of  the  Japanese  in  His  Majesty’s 
house  made  shouts,  whereupon  my  captors  let  go 
of  me  and  rushed  to  the  house.  I went  there  to 

6 


66 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


see  what  had  taken  place,  and  found  His  Majesty 
had  been  removed  to  the  outer  apartments.  I saw 
what  I thought  to  be  the  Queen  lying  dead  in  the 
minor  apartments  of  the  house.  I was  then  driven 
out  by  the  Japanese.  A little  while  afterwards, 
hearing  that  the  Japanese  were  burning  the  corpse 
of  the  murdered  Queen  in  the  eastern  park  near  by, 
I rushed  to  the  gate,  and  there  I saw  clearly  that 
the  dress  of  the  burning  corpse  was  a lady’s.” 


CHAPTER  VI 

AFTER  THE  MURDER 

HE  news  of  the  murder  of  the  Queen  was 


received  by  the  foreign  community  at  Seoul 
at  first  with  incredulity,  and  then  with  horror.  The 
Japanese  attempted  to  prevent  details  from  getting 
abroad.  Colonel  Cockerill,  the  famous  correspondent 
of  the  New  York  Herald  was  in  Seoul  at  the  time, 
and  at  once  cabled  to  his  paper,  but  his  message 
was  stopped  and  the  money  returned  to  him.  This 
stoppage  was  afterwards  apologised  for  by  the 
Japanese  Government.  When  details  were  pub- 
lished in  Europe  and  America,  they  did  Japan 
more  harm  than  the  loss  of  a great  battle. 

Miura  disclaimed  responsibility  and  maintained 
that  the  crime  was  solely  the  work  of  Koreans. 
When  this  account  became  manifestly  impossible,  he 
said  that  it  was  done  by  the  Koreans,  helped  by  a few 
irresponsible  soshi.  On  the  day  following  the  murder, 
he  wrote  to  the  Korean  Minister  for  Foreign  Affairs : 
“ I gather  that  the  origin  of  the  hneute  was  a conflict 
between  the  drilled  (Korean)  troops,  who  desired  to 
lay  a complaint  in  the  palace,  and  the  guards  and 
police  who  prevented  their  entrance.”  In  another 


68 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


letter  he  declared  that  the  story  that  the  Japanese 
were  engaged  in  the  murder  was  “ a fabrication  based 
on  hearsay,  and  unworthy  of  credence.”  In  an  inter- 
view a day  or  two  afterwards,  the  Viscount  said  that 
the  plot  was  hatched  by  Koreans,  and  carried  out 
by  Koreans  : “ If  any  Japanese  have  participated  in 
it,  they  were  of  the  class  of  soshi,  vagabonds,  marplots 
and  disturbers,  who  could  be  hired  to  commit  almost 
any  crime  and  by  anybody.  Japan  has  done  much 
for  Korea.  It  has  fought  a war  to  secure  Korea’s 
independence,  it  has  loaned  it  money,  and  has  for 
years  sent  its  advisers  here  to  aid  in  reforming  and 
uplifting  the  country.” 

It  soon  became  clear,  however,  that  the  real  story 
could  not  be  suppressed.  The  Japanese  Government 
thereupon  promptly  disavowed  all  knowledge  of  the 
affair,  and  promised  to  undertake  a full  inquiry,  and 
to  punish  the  guilty.  Prince  (then  Marquis)  Ito,  the 
Prime  Minister,  was  specially  emphatic  : “ I believe 
that  it  is  meant  to  seek  out  and  punish,  if  possible, 
every  unworthy  son  of  Japan  connected  with  this 
crime,”  he  said.  “ Not  to  do  so  would  be  to  condemn 
Japan  in  the  eyes  of  all  the  world.  If  she  does  not 
repudiate  this  usurpation  on  the  part  of  Tai  Won  Kun 
she  must  lose  the  respect  of  every  civilised  Govern- 
ment on  earth.  In  the  death  of  the  Queen,  Japan 
loses  a pronounced  and  implacable  foe,  but  no  matter 
how  large  the  game  in  Korea,  she  cannot  afford  to 
uphold  the  hands  of  the  infamous  Tai  Won  Kun  and 
Korean  banditti  who  now  surround  him.  I am 
assured  that  had  Count  Inouye  continued  to  repre- 
sent Japan  here  he  could  eventually  have  won  the 


AFTER  THE  MURDER 


69 


Queen  over  and  made  her  a staunch  friend  of  Japan. 
His  withdrawal  from  Seoul  was  unfortunate  for 
Japan.”  Miura  was  promptly  recalled  and  deprived 
of  his  rank  and  honours,  and  he  and  his  chief 
assistants  were  arrested  and  placed  on  trial.  But 
it  was  manifest,  even  thus  early,  that  the  Japanese 
Government  had  no  intention  of  setting  the  wrong 
right,  and  that  the  arrest  of  the  leaders  was  a mere 
farce.  Prince  Ito  proved  then,  as  he  has  shown 
time  after  time  since  in  his  dealings  with  Korea, 
that  whatever  the  sincerity  of  his  own  good  intentions, 
and  however  kindly  disposed  he  may  be  personally 
to  the  Korean  people,  he  is  willing  to  condone  the 
crimes  of  his  subordinates,  when  they  lead  to  the 
increase  of  Japanese  power. 

To  add  to  their  offence,  the  Japanese,  through 
their  mouthpiece,  the  Tai  Won  Kun,  did  everything 
they  could  to  disgrace  and  degrade  the  memory  of 
the  murdered  Queen.  On  October  nth  a so-called 
Royal  Decree  was  issued  in  the  King’s  name,  de- 
nouncing Queen  Min,  ranking  her  among  the  lowest 
prostitutes,  and  assuming  that  she  was  not  dead,  but 
had  escaped,  and  would  again  come  forward.  “ We 
knew  the  extreme  of  her  wickedness,”  said  the 
decree,  “ but  We  were  helpless  and  full  of  fear  of 
her  party,  and  so  could  not  dismiss  and  punish  her. 
We  are  convinced  that  she  is  not  only  unfitted  and 
unworthy  to  be  Queen,  but  also  that  her  guilt  is 
excessive  and  overflowing.  With  her  We  could  not 
succeed  to  the  glory  of  the  Royal  ancestors,  so  We 
hereby  depose  her  from  the  rank  of  Queen  and 
reduce  her  to  the  level  of  the  lowest  class.”  Here 


70 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Miura  overreached  himself.  Acting  in  his  person- 
ality as  Japanese  Minister,  he  accepted  the  decree 
which  he  had  caused  to  be  issued  through  his  mouth- 
piece, the  Tai  Won  Kun.  He  declared,  with  the 
fervour  of  a Pecksniff,  that  “ this  intelligence  has 
profoundly  shocked  me.”  But  the  other  foreign  re- 
presentatives now  intervened.  The  Russian  Minister, 
M.  Waeber,  promptly  and  in  the  most  emphatic 
manner  refused  to  accept  the  decree  as  coming  from 
the  King.  All  of  the  others,  except  one,  followed 
his  lead.  Ten  days  later  Miura  was  recalled. 

The  King  himself  was  confined  in  his  palace,  and 
surrounded  by  the  Tai  Won  Kun’s  party.  On  the 
day  of  the  murder  he  was  visited  by  the  Russian 
Minister  and  by  Dr.  Allen,  and  they  found  him  in 
a state  of  utter  prostration.  The  palace  attendants, 
officials,  and  soldiers  were  clearing  out  as  quickly 
as  they  could,  like  rats  from  a sinking  ship,  and 
tearing  off  any  symbols  that  might  cause  them  to 
be  recognised  as  members  of  the  Royal  party.  The 
foreign  representatives  refused  as  a body  to  recog- 
nise the  Tai  Won  Kun,  and  they  insisted  upon 
having  personal  intercourse  with  the  King.  The 
poor  King  was  terrified  lest  he  should  be  poisoned, 
and  he  refused  to  eat  anything  but  condensed 
milk,  sent  to  him  in  sealed  cans,  or  eggs  cooked 
in  their  shells.  In  order  to  prevent  him  from 
being  murdered,  Dr.  Aveson,  a doctor  who  had 
done  splendid  service  in  Korea,  and  other  American 
missionaries,  went  to  the  palace  and  stayed  there 
night  after  night,  thinking  that  the  presence  of 
foreign  witnesses  might  restrain  the  conspirators. 


<€«  > 


WITH  WEEDS  GROWING  BETW  EEN  THE  STONES. 


AFTER  THE  MURDER 


7 1 


At  the  same  time  the  missionaries  and  the  ladies  of 
the  Legations,  hearing  of  the  King’s  difficulties  with 
his  food,  cooked  special  dishes  themselves  and  sent 
them  regularly  to  him  in  tin  boxes,  fastened  with 
a Yale  lock. 

General  Dye  still  remained  around  the  Royal 
person,  but  all  possible  pressure  was  used  to  re- 
move him  and  to  replace  him  by  a Japanese. 
Colonel  Cockerill,  who  had  audience  with  the  King 
two  days  after  the  murder,  wrote  a vivid  impression 
of  the  scene  : “ Mounting  a few  steps,  and  crossing 
a verandah,  we  entered  a small  room  and  turned  to 
the  left.  We  saw  in  the  doorway  a still  smaller 
apartment,  decorated  in  simple  Korean  style.  The 
poor  King  was  standing,  pigeon-toed  and  pallid, 
beside  his  flabby  son,  still  known  as  the  Crown 
Prince.  The  King  is  small  in  stature,  thin,  and 
bloodless-looking ; the  events  of  the  past  few  days 
have  added  to  his  waxiness,  and  his  nervousness  was 
painful  to  behold.  Turning  to  the  Rev.  H.  J.  Jones, 
who  acted  as  interpreter,  he  inquired  if  he  might 
shake  hands  with  us.  One  by  one  he  shook  each 
of  us  by  the  hand  with  considerable  fervour,  and 
then  placed  the  hand  of  each  visitor  in  that  of  his 
grinning,  imbecile  son  by  his  side. 

“ At  this  point  the  Russian  Minister  passed  to  the 
King  a large  tin  box  which  contained,  as  he  ex- 
plained, some  fruits  and  food  from  his  own  table. 
The  King,  who  lives  in  hourly  fear  of  poison,  took 
the  box  in  his  own  hands.  The  key  was  passed  to 
him. 

“ The  King,  who  stood  on  the  right  of  the  new 


72 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


War  Minister,  pleaded  with  his  eyes  to  M.  Waeber, 
and  motioned  with  his  hands  to  indicate  that  the 
faithful  Dye  should  not  be  taken  from  him.  His 
whole  body  twitched  as  though  he  was  afflicted  with 
St.  Vitus’  dance,  and  his  eyes  were  pleading  sorrow- 
fully.” i 

Early  in  the  following  year  Miura,  his  two  chief 
assistants,  Sugimura  and  Okamoto,  and  forty-five 
others  were  brought  up  for  examination  at  a Court  of 
Preliminary  Inquiries  at  Hiroshima.  It  was  common 
talk  in  Japan  that  whatever  the  evidence  might  be 
the  accused  were  to  be  acquitted,  but  no  one  thought 
that  the  Court  would  bring  in  the  amazing  finding 
it  did.  This  finding  is  probably  unequalled  in  iudi- 
cial  annals.  The  Judge  of  the  Court  of  Prelim  nary 
Inquiry  reported  that  Miura  and  his  assistants  had 
planned,  in  co-operation  with  the  Tai  Won  Kun, 
to  murder  the  Queen  ; they  had  used  the  military 
and  police  to  aid  them  ; they  had  enlisted  the  ser- 
vices of  a number  of  men  for  this  purpose  ; they  had 
instigated  them  to  dispatch  the  Queen,  and  the  men 
had  been  led  against  the  palace  to  accomplish  this. 
“ About  dawn,”  the  report  went  on,  “ the  whole  party 
entered  the  palace  through  the  Kwang-hwa  Gate, 
and  at  once  proceeded  to  the  inner  chambers.  Not- 
withstanding these  facts,  there  is  no  sufficient 
evidence  to  prove  that  any  of  the  accused  actually 
committed  the  crime  originally  meditated  by  them. 

. . . For  these  reasons  the  accused,  each  and  all,  are 
hereby  discharged.” 

The  verdict  was  very  popular  in  Japan,  and  Miura 
1 New  York  Herald,  October  12,  1895. 


AFTER  THE  MURDER 


73 


at  once  became  a national  hero.  Shortly  afterwards 
his  full  honours  and  titles  were  restored  to  him,  and 
he  retains  them  to  this  day.  It  had  been  the  inten- 
tion of  his  counsel,  Mr.  Masujima,  to  plead  justifi- 
cation, had  the  case  come  on  for  trial.  Mr.  Masujima 
published  his  side  of  the  case  in  a Japanese  periodical 
shortly  afterwards.  Probably  no  civilised  lawyer  has 
in  recent  years  more  openly  avowed  the  doctrine  of 
“ killing  no  murder,”  when  the  killing  is  to  secure 
political  supremacy.  “ Whatever  may  be  thought  by 
weaker  minds,  the  result  of  the  emeute  has  been 
most  happy  for  the  peace  and  progress  of  the  world,” 
wrote  Mr.  Masujima.  “ Had  the  Queen  been  suc- 
cessful in  her  conspiracy,  all  the  efforts  made  by 
Japan  for  the  resuscitation  of  Korea  would  have  been 
fruitless.  The  only  political  party  which  could  reform 
Korea,  and  thereby  maintain  her  independence, 
would  have  been  extirpated.  The  Queen  was 
Korean  at  heart,  and  was  accustomed  to  violent 
and  treacherous  methods.  Supported  by  a foreign 
power  in  her  policy,  she  was  ready  to  resort  to  any 
means  to  execute  her  programme.  The  promise  of 
any  foreign  assistance  to  her  was  inciting  and 
dangerous.  Such  a course  of  diplomatic  procedure 
must  be  put  down.  The  foneute  crushed  the  mischief. 
The  form  of  the  Queen’s  conspiracy  was  criminal, 
and  the  Japanese  Minister  was  justified  in  preventing 
the  execution  of  the  criminal  attempt.  He  did  only 
his  duty  as  soon  as  he  was  in  charge  of  the  peace 
and  order  of  Korea.  The  root  of  political  troubles, 
the  effects  of  which  would  have  lasted  for  a long 
time  to  come,  was  torn  up.  Considering  the  class 


7 4 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


of  diplomacy  prevailing  in  Korea,  Viscount  Miura 
has  accomplished  only  a triumph.”  1 

If  the  Japanese  escaped  so  easily,  some  others  did 
not.  Three  Koreans,  who  had  taken  no  part  in  the 
crime,  were  seized  by  the  Tai  Won  Kun,  and  were 
rapidly  tried  and  executed.  One  of  them  was  a 
poor  soldier,  who  had  accidentally  passed  through 
the  grove  where  the  Queen’s  body  was  burnt,  and 
had  seen  the  deed  done.  The  two  others  were 
apparently  as  guiltless  as  he.  These  executions  were 
declared  to  be  evidence  that  the  Tai  Won  Kun  had 
no  hand  in  the  crime  of  October  8th.  The  foreign 
representatives  did  what  they  could  to  prevent  them, 
and  sent  full  reports  of  the  affair  to  their  Govern- 
ments. Some  of  them  urged  their  Home  Authorities 
to  intervene,  but  in  vain.  The  British  Consul-General, 
Sir  Walter  Hillier,  did  splendid  work  at  this  time  to 
secure  justice  and  peace. 

“ I wonder  if  the  statesmen  in  Tokyo  have  an  idea 
that  this  sort  of  thing  will  raise  Japan  in  the  estima- 
tion of  the  world  at  large  ? ” wrote  Colonel  Cockerill, 
in  a paragraph  that  voiced  the  sentiments  of 
Europeans  in  the  Far  East.  “ Does  not  Marquis 
Ito  well  know  that  in  the  diplomacy  of  civilised 
nations  the  empire  of  Japan,  which  was  advancing 
so  proudly  and  rapidly,  has  dropped  back  a quarter 
of  a century?  If  he  does  not  know  it,  then  he  is  not 
the  guide  I took  him  to  be.  The  semi-barbaric  con- 
dition of  Korea  has  given  to  her  benevolent  neighbour 
an  opportunity  to  teach  bloody  instructions  which 
will  not  soon  be  forgotten,  I fear,  and  as  a sincere 
1 The  Far  East,  February,  1896,  vol.  i.  p.  20. 


AFTER  THE  MURDER 


75 


well-wisher  of  Japan,  I grieve  to  record  facts  which 
not  only  proclaim  her  cruelty,  but  her  injustice  and 
indifference  where  her  interests  are  involved.  It  is 
to  be  hoped  that  Viscount  Miura  will  not  be  advanced 
in  rank  by  his  Government  or  rewarded  with  a medal 
commemorative  of  his  great  diplomatic  sagacity. 
His  rank  is  that  of  the  man  who  planned  the  St. 
Bartholomew  massacre,  and  the  villain  who  blew  up 
the  consort  of  the  Scottish  Queen.  I learn  that  at 
Hiroshima  he  is  now  the  idol  of  the  hour.  He  is 
called  upon  by  distinguished  officials,  and  upon  the 
evening  of  his  release  he  gave  a grand  banquet.  His 
friend,  the  Tai  Won  Kun,  has  probably  sent  him  a 
letter  of  congratulation.” 


CHAPTER  VII 


THE  ESCAPE  OF  THE  KING 
HE  situation  in  Seoul  after  the  recall  of 


Viscount  Miura  was  tangled.  The  King  was 
still  nominally  supreme  ruler  of  the  country,  but  he 
was  completely  in  the  hands  of  the  ex-Regent’s 
party.  Japan  had  sent  Count  Inouye  as  Envoy 
Extraordinary  to  find  some  way  of  smoothing  over 
things,  and  he,  while  relaxing  nothing  of  his 
country’s  grip  of  Korea,  still  modified  some  of  the 
more  offensive  administrations  of  the  Yi  party. 
A large  number  of  the  dead  Queen’s  adherents  had 
fled  to  Legations  and  foreign  houses,  and  were 
sheltered  and  protected  there  under  extra-territorial 


At  the  end  of  November,  some  Koreans  of  the  old 
palace  guard,  who  were  out  of  employment  and  in 
distress,  attempted  a counter  revolution.  It  was  a 
complete  failure,  for  the  troops  in  the  palace  were 
forewarned,  and  were  lying  in  wait  for  the  attack. 
It  served,  however,  to  bring  upon  the  heads  of  the 
white  men — who  had  no  connection  whatever  with 
it — torrents  of  abuse  from  the  Japanese.  One 
Japanese  newspaper,  published  in  Seoul,  distin- 


rights. 


THE  ESCAPE  OF  THE  KING 


77 


guished  itself  by  openly  accusing  the  Russian  and 
American  representatives,  and  a number  of  American 
missionaries  whom  it  named,  of  having  made  the 
conspiracy,  and  some  of  them  of  having  actually 
taken  part  in  the  attack.  In  short,  the  Japanese 
tried,  by  stirring  up  much  dust  over  this  November 
business,  to  make  the  public  forget  the  doings  of 
October  8th.  This  brought  a very  vigorous  protest 
from  Colonel  Cockerill : “ I decline  to  believe  any- 
thing in  the  shape  of  news  sent  out  from  Korea  by 
the  correspondents  of  the  Japanese  newspapers,”  he 
wrote.  “ A more  flagitious  and  unconscionable  lot  of 
liars  I have  never  known.  As  the  Japanese  Govern- 
ment exercises  a strong  censorship  over  its  home 
press,  it  might  be  well  for  it  to  try  its  repressional 
hand  upon  the  Japanese  sheet  published  in  Seoul, 
the  Kanjoshimpo , which  is  labouring  zealously,  it 
would  seem,  to  bring  about  the  massacre  of  foreign 
representatives  in  Korea.” 

In  keeping  with  Inouye’s  policy  of  conciliation,  a 
decree  was  issued  in  the  latter  part  of  November 
restoring  the  late  Queen  to  full  rank.  She  was 
given  the  posthumous  title  of  “ Guileless  ; revered,” 
and  a temple  called  “Virtuous  accomplishment”  was 
dedicated  to  her  memory.  Twenty-two  officials  of 
high  rank  were  commissioned  to  write  her  biography. 
But  the  King  was  still  kept  a prisoner. 

The  Russian  Minister,  M.  Waeber,  again  inter- 
vened. On  February  9,  1896,  his  Legation  guard 
was  increased  to  160  men.  Two  days  afterwards 
the  Europeans  in  Seoul  were  aroused  by  the 
intelligence  that  the  King  had  escaped  from  his 


78 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


gaolers  at  the  palace,  and  had  taken  refuge  with  the 
Russians.  A little  before  seven  o’clock  in  the  morn- 
ing the  King  and  Crown  Prince  left  the  palace 
secretly,  in  closed  chairs,  such  as  women  use.  Their 
escape  was  carefully  planned.  For  more  than  a 
week  before,  the  ladies  of  the  palace  had  caused 
a number  of  chairs  to  go  in  and  out  by  the  several 
gates  in  order  to  familiarise  the  guards  with  the  idea 
that  they  were  paying  many  visits.  So  when,  early 
in  the  morning,  two  women’s  chairs  were  carried  out 
by  the  attendants,  the  guards  took  no  special  notice. 
The  King  and  his  son  arrived  at  the  Russian  Legation 
very  much  agitated  and  trembling.  They  were  ex- 
pected, and  were  at  once  admitted.  As  it  is  the 
custom  in  Korea  for  the  King  to  work  at  night  and 
sleep  in  the  morning,  the  members  of  the  Cabinet  did 
not  discover  his  escape  for  some  hours,  until  news 
was  brought  to  them  from  outside  that  he  was  safe 
under  the  guardianship  of  his  new  friends. 

Excitement  at  once  spread  through  the  city. 
Great  crowds  assembled,  some  armed  with  sticks, 
some  with  stones,  some  with  any  weapons  they  could 
lay  hands  on.  A number  of  old  Court  dignitaries 
hurried  to  the  Legation,  and  within  an  hour  or  two 
a fresh  Cabinet  was  constituted,  and  the  old  one 
deposed.  During  the  morning  a Royal  Proclamation 
was  issued  : — 

“ Alas  ! Alas  ! On  account  of  Our  un  worthiness  and 
maladministration  the  wicked  advanced  and  the  wise 
retired.  Of  the  last  ten  years,  none  has  passed  with- 
out troubles.  Some  were  brought  on  by  those  We 


THE  ESCAPE  OF  THE  KING 


79 


had  trusted  as  the  members  of  the  body,  while  others, 
by  those  of  Our  own  bone  and  flesh.  Our  dynasty 
of  five  centuries  has  thereby  often  been  endangered, 
and  millions  of  Our  subjects  have  thereby  been 
gradually  impoverished.  These  facts  make  Us  blush 
and  sweat  for  shame.  But  these  troubles  have  been 
brought  about  through  Our  partiality  and  selfwill, 
giving  rise  to  rascality  and  blunders  leading  to 
calamities.  All  have  been  Our  own  fault  from  the 
first  to  the  last. 

“ Fortunately  through  loyal  and  faithful  subjects 
rising  up  in  righteous  efforts  to  remove  the  wicked, 
there  is  a hope  that  the  tribulations  experienced  may 
invigorate  the  State,  and  that  calm  may  return  after 
the  storm.  This  accords  with  the  principle  that 
human  nature  will  have  freedom  after  a long  pres- 
sure, and  that  the  ways  of  Heaven  bring  success 
after  reverses.  We  shall  endeavour  to  be  merciful. 
No  pardon,  however,  shall  be  extended  to  the  prin- 
cipal traitors  concerned  in  the  affairs  of  July,  1894, 
and  of  October,  1895.  Capital  punishment  should  be 
their  due,  thus  venting  the  indignation  of  men  and 
gods  alike.  But  to  all  the  rest,  officials  or  soldiers, 
citizens  or  coolies,  a general  amnesty,  free  and  full, 
is  granted,  irrespective  of  the  degree  of  their  offences. 
Reform  your  hearts  ;ease  your  minds  ; go  about  your 
business,  public  or  private,  as  in  times  past. 

“ As  to  the  cutting  of  the  top-knots — what  can  We 
say  ? Is  it  such  an  urgent  matter  ? The  traitors,  by 
using  force  and  coercion,  brought  about  the  affair. 
That  this  measure  was  taken  against  Our  will  is,  no 
doubt,  well  known  to  all.  Nor  is  it  Our  wish  that 


8o 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


the  conservative  subjects  throughout  the  country, 
moved  to  righteous  indignation,  should  rise  up,  as 
they  have,  circulating  false  rumours,  causing  death 
and  injury  to  one  another,  until  the  regular  troops 
had  to  be  sent  to  repress  the  disturbances  by  force. 
The  traitors  indulged  their  poisonous  nature  in  every- 
thing. Fingers  and  hairs  would  fail  to  count  their 
victims.  The  soldiers  are  Our  children.  So  are  the 
insurgents.  Cut  any  of  the  ten  fingers,  and  one  would 
cause  as  much  pain  as  another.  Fighting  long  con- 
tinued would  pour  out  blood  and  heap  up  corpses, 
hindering  communications  and  traffic.  Alas!  If  this 
continues  the  people  will  all  die.  The  mere  con- 
templation of  such  consequences  provokes  Our  tears 
and  chills  Our  heart.  We  desire  that  as  soon  as 
these  Our  commands  arrive  the  soldiers  should 
return  to  Seoul  and  the  insurgents  to  their  respective 
places  and  occupations. 

“ As  to  the  cutting  of  top-knots,  no  one  shall  be 
forced.  As  to  dress  and  hats,  do  as  you  please. 
The  evils  now  afflicting  the  people  shall  be  duly 
attended  to  by  the  Government.  This  is  Our  own 
word  of  honour.  Let  all  understand. 

“ By  Order  of  His  Majesty, 

“ PAK  CHUNG  YANG, 

“Acting  Home  Minister  and  Prime  Minister. 

“ nth  day,  2nd  moon,  1st  year  of  Kon  Yang.” 

The  heads  of  the  Consulates  and  Legations  called 
and  paid  their  respects  to  the  King,  the  Japanese 
Minister  being  the  last  to  do  so.  For  him  this  move 
meant  utter  defeat.  Later  in  the  day,  a second 


THE  ESCAPE  OF  THE  KING 


81 


Proclamation  was  spread  broadcast,  calling  on  the 
soldiers  to  protect  their  King,  to  cut  off  the  heads 
of  the  chief  traitors,  and  to  bring  them  to  him.  This 
gave  the  final  edge  to  the  temper  of  the  mob.  Great 
parties  sought  out  the  old  Cabinet  Ministers  to  slay 
them.  Two  Ministers  were  dragged  into  the  street 
and  slaughtered  there  with  every  accompaniment  of 
brutality.  One  was  cut  down  by  a horrible  gash 
extending  from  the  back  of  the  neck  to  the  front  of 
the  ears,  the  crowd  shouting  like  wild  beasts  as  he 
fell.  The  people  hurled  stones  on  the  dead  bodies, 
some  stamping  on  them,  some  spitting  on  them,  and 
some  tearing  limb  from  limb.  One  man  whipped  out 
his  knife  and  carved  a piece  of  flesh  from  the  thigh  of 
one  of  the  corpses.  He  put  it  to  his  mouth,  and  said 
to  the  others,  “ Let  us  eat  them.”  But  this  was  too 
much  even  for  the  frenzied  people,  and  the  crowd 
shrank  back  in  horror.  On  the  19th,  another  Cabinet 
Minister  was  murdered  in  his  country  home.  In 
one  respect,  however,  the  upheaval  brought  peace. 
Throughout  the  country  districts,  the  people  had 
been  on  the  point  of  rising  against  the  Japanese,  who 
were  reported  to  be  universally  hated  as  oppressors. 
Now  that  their  King  was  in  power  again,  they  settled 
down  peaceably. 

The  Japanese  were  now  in  disgrace  and  had 
lost  all  power.  They  at  once  steadily  set  them- 
selves, by  yielding,  by  patient  diplomacy,  and  by 
secretly  keeping  the  country  in  a ferment,  to  restore 
their  influence.  For  the  moment,  the  Russians 
were  supreme.  It  is  universally  admitted  that 
Russia  could  have  had  no  better  representative 

7 


82 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


than  her  Minister,  M.  Waeber.  Here  was  one 
totally  unlike  the  accepted  type  of  the  subtle  and 
tortuous  Russian  diplomat — a type,  one  may  add, 
more  often  found  in  romance  than  in  real  life.  A 
kindly,  simple,  straightforward  man,  his  policy  was 
as  open  as  the  day,  and  even  the  other  foreign  repre- 
sentatives were  amazed  at  the  disinterestedness  of 
his  actions.  He  regarded  the  King  as  his  guest,  and 
he  placed  the  big  Russian  Legation  at  the  Royal 
disposal,  asking  for  nothing  in  return,  not  even 
attempting  to  secure  those  concessions  for  his  country 
which  almost  any  other  man  of  whatever  nationality 
would  have  obtained  under  the  circumstances.  The 
King  held  his  Court  in  the  great  central  apartment  of 
the  Legation,  and  his  various  Cabinet  Ministers  had 
their  burrows  around  him.  There  are  many  humorous 
stories  of  the  Royal  habits  and  freaks  at  this  time — 
stories  which  it  would  be  merely  malicious  to  repeat. 
The  King  sought  the  friendship  of  foreigners,  and  it 
is  said  that  he  even,  once  or  twice,  went  to  the  Seoul 
Club,  which  adjoins  the  Legation  there,  and  had  a 
game  of  billiards. 

The  people  of  Korea  had  been  shaken  to  the 
depths  by  the  events  of  the  past  few  months,  and 
were  ready  to  launch  out  into  genuine  reform. 
Unfortunately  the  King  was  now  far  more  feeble 
than  before.  The  murder  of  his  wife  and  the  terror 
Japan  had  driven  into  his  soul,  had  caused  him  to 
assume  an  attitude  of  cunning,  and  to  change  his 
mind  and  alter  his  policy  whenever  he  thought  that 
he  was  subjecting  himself  to  the  slightest  risk.  A 
remarkable  figure  among  the  younger  Koreans  came, 


Photograph  by]  [F.  .4.  McKenzie. 

THE  AUTHOR’S  “NUMBER  ONE  BOY,”  WITH  WIFE  AND  CHILD. 


THE  ESCAPE  OF  THE  KING  83 


for  the  moment,  to  the  front.  In  the  uprising  of 
1882,  one  of  the  most  prominent  of  the  reformers 
had  been  So  Jai  Peel — Dr.  Philip  Jaisohn,  to  give 
him  his  European  name.  With  the  others,  Jaisohn 
had  to  flee  for  his  life,  and  he  went  to  Japan 
and  then,  soon  afterwards,  to  San  Francisco.  He 
knew  but  little  English,  and  was  totally  unac- 
quainted with  foreign  ways,  and  he  had  at  first 
difficulty  in  earning  enough  for  food.  When  people 
demanded  to  know  what  he  could  do,  he  held  up  his 
hands : “ I have  two  hands,  and  with  these  I am 
willing  to  work  at  anything  that  you  give  me.”  He 
progressed  so  rapidly  that,  after  a time,  he  entered 
college  and  graduated  with  honours.  He  became  an 
American  citizen,  joined  the  American  Civil  Service, 
and  in  due  course  was  made  Doctor  of  Medicine  by 
Johns  Hopkins  University.  He  acquired  a practice 
as  a physician  in  Washington,  and  was  lecturer  for 
two  medical  schools.  After  the  murder  of  the  Queen, 
he  threw  up  his  American  connection  and  returned 
to  Korea  under  a ten  years’  contract  with  the  Govern- 
ment as  Foreign  Adviser. 

Jaisohn  was  a sincere  and  uncompromising  re- 
former. His  brain  was  humming  with  ideas.  The 
changes  that  had  been  instituted  under  the  Japanese 
regime,  such  as  the  cutting  of  top-knots  and  the  like, 
were  forgotten  by  the  Koreans  as  soon  as  the 
Japanese  lost  power.  Everything  was  reverting  to 
the  old  ways.  Jaisohn  tried  other  methods.  He  pro- 
posed open-air  lectures,  the  establishment  of  schools 
and  the  general  Americanisation  of  the  country.  He 
established  a public  park  outside  the  city  for  experi- 


84 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


ments  in  the  cultivation  of  fruit-trees,  plants,  and 
shrubs.  A part  of  the  park  was  to  be  reserved  for 
outdoor  games.  He  started  a paper,  The  Independent , 
in  April,  1896,  a four-page  sheet  with  one  page  in 
English  and  three  in  Korean.  This  was,  at  first, 
issued  three  times  a week,  but  soon  a separate  Korean 
edition  was  published  as  a daily.  Led  by  him,  a 
number  of  officials  established  the  Independence 
Club,  and,  as  a testimony  to  the  reality  of  Korean 
independence,  a great  arch  was  erected  outside  the 
city.  The  purpose  of  the  Club  was  “ to  discuss 
matters  concerning  the  official  improvements,  customs, 
laws,  religion,  and  various  pertinent  affairs  in  foreign 
lands.”  “ The  main  object  of  the  Club,”  said  Jaisohn, 
“ is  to  create  public  opinion,  which  has  been  totally 
unknown  in  Korea  until  lately.” 

It  seemed  for  the  moment  as  though  the  reformers 
would  secure  a real  hold  on  affairs.  Schools  were 
started.  The  missionaries  were  obtaining  a steadily 
growing  influence,  the  way  they  had  stood  up  for 
national  rights  during  the  Japanese  control  having 
raised  them  greatly  in  the  popular  esteem.  In 
answer  to  vigorous  appeals  from  his  people,  the  King 
finally  emerged  from  the  Russian  Legation,  and 
settled  in  a palace  in  the  heart  of  the  city.  He  took 
the  title  of  Emperor,  and  the  name  of  Korea  was 
altered  from  Chosen  to  Tai-han.  But  gradually  the 
old  gang  of  officials  regained  control.  A certain 
amount  of  foreign  influence  was  undoubtedly  used  to 
cripple  the  reformers,  for  it  was  not  to  the  interest  of 
at  least  one  Power  that  Korea  should  become  really 
independent  and  efficient.  The  Independence  Arch 


THE  ESCAPE  OF  THE  KING  85 


that  had  been  started  amid  great  excitement,  was 
finished  unnoticed.  In  May,  1898,  the  Government 
paid  Dr.  Jaisohn  for  the  balance  of  his  contract  and 
dismissed  him.  A mass  meeting  was  held  outside 
the  South  Gate,  imploring  the  Government  to  alter 
its  decision,  but  in  vain.  The  foreign  merchants 
offered  to  provide  Jaisohn  with  a salary  if  he  would 
continue  to  live  in  the  country,  but  he  decided  to 
return  to  America,  and  is  to-day  practising  as  a 
physician  in  Philadelphia. 

The  Independence  Club  had  for  some  time  before 
Jaisohn’s  departure  been  coming  more  and  more 
into  opposition  to  the  Government.  Thus,  at  the 
beginning  of  1898,  it  presented  a memorial  to  the 
Emperor,  stating  that,  if  Korea  was  to  remain  free, 
“ it  must  not  lean  upon  another  nation  nor  tolerate 
foreign  interference  in  the  national  administration  ; 
and  it  must  help  itself  by  adopting  a wise  policy,  and 
enforcing  justice  throughout  the  realm.”  The  memo- 
rialists spoke  to  the  King  with  great  frankness. 
“ Even  the  power  of  appointing  and  dismissing 
Government  officials  has  been  taken  from  our  own 
authorities,”  they  wrote.  “ The  dishonest  and  cor- 
ruptive classes  thus  created,  take  this  opportunity  to 
satisfy  their  contemptible  nature  by  bringing  foreign 
influence  to  bear  upon  Your  Majesty,  and  some  go  so 
far  as  to  even  oppress  and  threaten  the  Throne  for 
their  personal  gain,  and  for  the  interests  of  their 
foreign  employers.  Impossible  stories  and  baseless 
reports  which  these  classes  continually  bring  to  Your 
Majesty  produce  the  most  damaging  effect  upon 
Your  Majesty’s  saintly  intelligence.  There  is  an  old 


86 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


saying  that  ice  is  generally  discovered  after  stepping 
repeatedly  upon  frost.  Hence  it  is  perfectly  natural 
for  us  to  come  to  the  conclusion,  after  witnessing  so 
many  lamentable  events  which  have  taken  place,  that 
before  many  moons  the  entire  power  of  self-govern- 
ment will  have  become  a matter  of  past  record.  If  it 
is  once  lost,  repentance  cannot  restore  it.” 

The  Independents  were  determined  to  have  genuine 
reform,  and  the  mass  of  the  people  were  still  behind 
them.  The  Conservatives,  who  opposed  them,  now 
controlled  practically  all  official  actions.  The  Inde- 
pendence Club  started  a popular  agitation,  and  for 
months  Seoul  was  in  a ferment.  Great  meetings  of 
the  people  continued  day  after  day,  the  shops  closing 
that  all  might  attend.  Even  the  women  stirred  from 
their  retirement,  and  held  meetings  of  their  own  to 
plead  for  change.  To  counteract  this  movement,  the 
Conservative  party  revived  and  called  to  its  aid  an 
old  secret  society,  the  Pedlars’  Guild,  which  had  in 
the  past  been  a useful  agent  for  reaction.  The 
Cabinet  promised  fair  things,  and  various  nominal 
reforms  were  outlined.  The  Independents’  demands 
were,  in  the  main,  the  absence  of  foreign  control,  care 
in  granting  foreign  concessions,  public  trial  of  impor- 
tant offenders,  honesty  in  State  finance,  and  justice 
for  all.  In  the  end,  another  demand  was  added  to 
these — that  a popular  representative  tribunal  should 
be  elected. 

When  the  Pedlars’  Guild  had  organised  its  forces, 
the  King  commanded  the  disbandment  of  the 
Independence  Club.  The  Independents  retorted  by 
going  en  bloc  to  the  police  headquarters,  and  asking 


SOLDIERS  OK  THE  OLD  KOREAN  ARMY  AROUND  THE  PALACE,  SEOUL 


THE  ESCAPE  OF  THE  KING  87 


to  be  arrested.  Early  in  November,  1898,  seventeen 
of  the  Independent  leaders  were  thrown  into  prison, 
and  would  have  been  put  to  death  but  for  public 
clamour.  The  people  rose  and  held  a series  of  such 
angry  demonstrations  that,  at  the  end  of  five  days, 
the  leaders  were  released. 

The  Government  now,  to  quiet  the  people,  gave 
assurances  that  genuine  reforms  would  be  instituted. 
When  the  mobs  settled  down,  reform  was  again 
shelved.  On  one  occasion,  when  the  citizens  of 
Seoul  crowded  into  the  main  thoroughfare  to  renew 
their  demands,  the  police  were  ordered  to  attack  them 
with  swords  and  destroy  them.  They  refused  to 
obey,  and  threw  off  their  badges,  saying  that  the 
cause  of  the  people  was  their  cause.  The  soldiers 
under  foreign  officers,  however,  had  no  hesitation  in 
carrying  out  the  Imperial  commands.  As  a next 
move,  many  thousands  of  men,  acting  on  an  old 
national  custom,  went  to  the  front  of  the  palace  and 
sat  there  in  silence  day  and  night  for  fourteen  days. 
In  Korea  this  is  the  most  impressive  of  all  ways  of 
demonstrating  the  wrath  of  the  nation,  and  it  greatly 
embarrassed  the  Court. 

The  Pedlars’  Guild  was  assembled  in  another 
part  of  the  city,  to  make  a counter  demonstration. 
Early  in  the  morning,  when  the  Independents  were 
numerically  at  their  weakest,  the  Pedlars  attacked 
them  and  drove  them  off.  On  attempting  to  return 
they  found  the  way  barred  by  police.  Fight  after 
fight  occurred  during  the  next  few  days  between  the 
popular  party  and  the  Conservatives,  and  then,  to 
bring  peace,  the  Emperor  promised  his  people  a 


88 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


general  audience  in  front  of  the  palace.  The  meet- 
ing took  place  amid  every  possible  surrounding  that 
could  lend  it  solemnity.  The  foreign  representatives 
and  the  Government  officials  were  in  attendance. 
The  Emperor,  who  stood  on  a specially  built  plat- 
form, received  the  leaders  of  the  Independents  and 
listened  to  the  statement  of  their  case.  They  asked 
that  their  monarch  should  keep  some  of  his  old 
promises  to  maintain  the  national  integrity  and  to  do 
justice.  The  Emperor,  in  return,  presented  them 
with  a formal  document,  in  which  he  agreed  to  their 
main  demands. 

The  crowd,  triumphant,  dispersed.  The  organisa- 
tion of  the  reformers  slackened,  for  they  thought  that 
victory  was  won.  Then  the  Conservative  party 
landed  its  heaviest  blows.  The  reformers  were 
accused  of  desiring  to  establish  a republic.  Dis- 
sensions were  created  in  their  ranks  by  the  promo- 
tion of  a scheme  to  recall  Pak  Yong  Hio.  Some  of 
the  more  extreme  Independents  indulged  in  wild 
talk,  and  gave  an  excuse  for  official  repression. 
Large  numbers  of  the  reform  leaders  were  arrested 
on  various  pretexts.  Meetings  were  dispersed  at  the 
point  of  the  bayonet,  and  the  reform  movement  was 
broken.  Though  the  Emperor  did  not  yet  realise  it, 
he  had,  in  the  hour  that  he  consented  to  crush  the 
reformers,  pronounced  the  doom  of  his  country  and 
of  his  own  Imperial  rule. 


CHAPTER  VIII 

THE  RUSSIAN  REGIME 

THE  action  of  M.  Waeber  in  giving  shelter  to 
to  the  King  was  in  keeping  with  the  new 
aggressive  policy  of  the  Russian  Government  in  the 
Far  East.  From  the  moment  that  the  Trans-Siberian 
Railway  had  been  determined  upon,  Russian  states- 
men convinced  themselves  of  the  possibility  of  great 
schemes  of  territorial  domination  on  the  Pacific 
Coast.  Russia  was  to  be  mistress  of  China,  owner  of 
Manchuria,  dictator  of  Korea  and  patron  of  Japan. 
The  results  of  the  Chino-Japanese  War  were  far 
from  welcome  to  the  St.  Petersburg  statesmen, 
and  when,  under  the  Treaty  of  Shimonoseki,  China 
ceded  the  Liaotung  Peninsula  to  Japan,  Russia  saw 
that  her  Eastern  expansion  would  be  definitely 
stopped.  This  contingency  had,  however,  been  pre- 
pared for.  Russia  had  been  sending  warships  to 
the  Far  East,  and  had  secured  the  co-operation  of 
France  and  Germany.  The  Kaiser,  foreseeing  pos- 
sible dangers  from  the  rise  of  a great  yellow  Power, 
willingly  lent  his  assistance,  and  France  was  the 
traditional  ally  of  Russia.  So  within  a week  of  the 
news  of  the  ratification  of  the  treaty,  Russia,  Ger- 

89 


90 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


many,  and  France  presented  a Note  to  Japan 
requesting  that  the  territories  ceded  to  it  on  the 
mainland  of  China  should  not  be  permanently 
occupied,  as  such  occupation  would  be  detrimental 
to  the  lasting  peace  of  the  Far  East.  Japan  was  in 
no  position  to  begin  war  against  three  combined 
Powers,  and  refusal  would  have  meant  war.  She 
looked  to  England,  but  England,  while  strictly 
standing  aloof  from  the  European  representations, 
yet  privately  recommended  Japan  to  yield.  Amid  the 
anger,  and  to  the  shame  of  the  people  who  thus  saw 
themselves  robbed  of  the  fruits  of  their  victory,  the 
Tokyo  Government  gave  way.  At  the  same  time 
Japan  began  to  build  greater  ships,  to  extend  her 
fortifications,  to  strengthen  her  army,  and  to  prepare 
for  revenge. 

It  was  Russia’s  hour  of  triumph,  and  for  a time 
her  representatives  in  the  Far  East  assumed  an  air 
of  domineering  intolerance  exceedingly  galling  to 
others.  Russia  was  spoken  of  as  supreme  in  Asia, 
and  the  paramount  Power  in  Europe.  Sober  Eng- 
lish reviews  described  her  as  “ the  protector  of 
China  and  Korea.”  Russian  diplomacy  was  now 
mainly  and  primarily  bent  on  securing  the  realisa- 
tion of  a very  natural  and  praiseworthy  ambition. 
Shut  in  by  the  Black  Sea  to  the  south  of  Europe, 
with  a limited  outlook  to  the  north  on  the  Baltic, 
and  with  only  Vladivostock,  ice-bound  for  many 
months  of  the  year,  as  her  premier  port  on  the 
Pacific,  Russia  wished  to  secure  a terminus  for  her 
Trans-Siberian  line  that  should  have  safe  and  open 
waters  all  the  year  round.  Such  a port  might  be 


THE  RUSSIAN  REGIME 


9i 


found  either  in  Korea,  where  there  are  several 
splendid  harbours,  or  in  the  Liaotung  Peninsula. 
For  the  moment  Russia  paid  attention  to  Korea. 

Unable  to  meet  her  rival  by  force,  Japan  turned  to 
diplomacy.  In  the  summer  of  1896  two  remarkable 
agreements  were  drawn  up  between  the  respective 
Governments,  one  being  signed  by  M.  Waeber  and 
Baron  Komura  at  Seoul,  and  the  second  by  Marshal 
Yamagata  and  Prince  Lobanof  at  Moscow.  Under 
the  first  of  these,  the  Powers  mutually  consented  to 
advise  the  Korean  Emperor  to  return  to  his  own 
palace,  and  Japan  promised  to  take  effective 
measures  for  the  control  of  Japanese  rowdies. 
Russia  agreed  that  the  Japanese  guards,  three  com- 
panies of  soldiers  then  in  Korea,  should  remain  for 
a time  for  the  protection  of  the  Japanese  telegraph 
line  from  Fusan  to  Seoul,  and  that,  when  they  were 
withdrawn,  they  should  be  temporarily  replaced  by 
groups  of  gendarmes  at  twelve  intermediate  posts 
between  P'usan  and  Seoul.  These  gendarmes  were 
not  to  exceed  200,  and  were  to  be  retained 
until  such  time  “ as  peace  and  order  have  been 
restored  by  the  Government.”  In  addition  to  these, 
two  companies  of  Japanese  troops  were  to  be 
stationed  at  Seoul,  one  at  Fusan,  and  one  at 
Gensan,  each  company  not  exceeding  200  men. 
The  Russian  guards  were  not  to  be  more  numerous 
than  those  of  Japan.  In  the  Lobanof- Yamagata 
agreement  Japan  and  Russia  promised  mutually  to 
afford  their  assistance  to  Korea,  if  necessary,  for 
foreign  loans  ; to  leave  to  the  native  Government,  as 
soon  as  possible,  the  formation  and  maintenance  of 


92 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


a national  army  and  police  sufficient  to  maintain 
internal  peace ; and  to  keep  the  telegraph  lines  in 
Japanese  hands ; while  Russia  reserved  the  right  to 
build  a telegraph  line  from  Seoul  to  her  own  frontier. 
These  Agreements  have  been  spoken  of  as  an  added 
humiliation  to  Japan;  on  the  contrary,  considering 
the  circumstances  when  they  were  drawn  up,  they 
redound  to  the  credit  of  the  skill  of  the  Japanese 
diplomats. 

Unfortunately  for  Russia,  the  prudent  and  states- 
manlike policy  of  M.  Waeber  did  not  meet  with  the 
approval  of  his  official  superiors,  and  in  September, 
1897,  M.  de  Speyer  succeeded  him  as  Charge 
d’Affaires.  The  change  was  received  with  universal 
regret  by  all  foreigners  in  Korea.  M.  Waeber  had 
done  splendidly.  He  had  been  a real  influence  for 
good  throughout  the  country,  and,  even  from  an 
exclusively  Russian  point  of  view,  his  cautious 
policy  had  gained  for  his  Government  more  credit 
and  influence  than  any  other  course  of  action  could 
have  done.  A Russian-language  school  had  been 
started  by  the  Korean  Government,  mining  and 
timber  concessions  had  been  granted  to  Russians, 
Colonel  Potiata  and  a number  of  Russian  officers 
and  men  had  been  employed  to  reorganise  and  drill 
the  Korean  troops,  and  Russia’s  financial  and 
political  influence  had  been  supreme.  Admiral 
Alexieff,  now  rising  into  power,  thought  that  this 
was  not  enough. 

M.  de  Speyer  plainly  had  orders  to  quicken  the 
pace,  and  he  did  so.  He  assumed  a most  aggressive 
and  unpleasant  attitude  towards  other  foreigners,  and 


THE  RUSSIAN  REGIME 


93 


this  quickly  brought  matters  to  a crisis,  and  caused 
his  downfall. 

The  Korean  Customs  and  Treasury  had  for  some 
time  been  under  the  charge  of  Mr.  (now  Sir  John) 
McLeavy  Brown,  an  experienced  member  of  the 
Chinese  Customs,  who  was  delegated  to  manage 
the  Korean  service.  Mr.  Brown  had  entire  control 
of  the  Customs  revenue,  and  none  of  it  could  be 
spent  without  his  consent  and  signature.  Himself  a 
man  of  order,  discipline,  and  unbending  economy, 
his  methods  came  upon  the  Korean  officials  as  an 
unpleasant  shock.  Time  after  time  he  refused  to 
make  grants  from  the  Customs  funds  for  outlays 
with  which  he  did  not  agree.  He  kept  salaries 
within  a strict  limit,  and  he  made  people  work  for 
their  money.  When  high  officials  wanted  to  appoint 
their  near  relations  to  posts  with  handsome  pay  and 
no  work,  Mr.  Brown  intervened.  When  a sinecurist 
died,  Mr.  Brown  forbade  the  appointment  of  a suc- 
cessor. He  held  the  keys  of  the  purse.  The 
Japanese  had  forced  a loan  on  Korea  in  1895  of 
3,000,000  yen.  Mr.  Brown  saved  enough  money  to 
pay  two-thirds  of  it  off,  and  before  very  long  paid 
three-quarters  of  a million  more.  He  would  have 
settled  the  final  balance,  but  Japan  requested  that  it 
might  be  left.  Thanks  to  his  activity,  new  streets 
were  made  in  the  capital,  old  thoroughfares  were 
widened,  improved  sanitation  was  introduced,  the 
roadway  to  the  Pekin  Pass  was  transformed,  a 
magnificent  palace  was  begun  for  the  Emperor,  and 
a scheme  was  formulated  for  surveying  and  lighting 
the  coast. 


94 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


The  Russian  authorities  began  to  regard  Mr. 
Brown’s  position  and  influence  with  alarm.  A 
Russian  Financial  Adviser,  Mr.  Kerr  Alexieff,  agent 
of  the  Russian  Finance  Minister,  arrived  in  Seoul  on 
October  5,  1897.  On  the  25th  of  the  same  month, 
the  Department  of  Foreign  Affairs  appointed  him  as 
successor  to  Mr.  Brown.  The  latter  ignored  the 
order,  and  held  on.  When  it  was  suggested  that  he 
should  either  share  responsibility  or  act  as  the 
assistant  to  Alexieff,  he  peremptorily  declined.  The 
native  officials,  who  saw  the  chance  of  plunder, 
rebelled  against  the  Brown  administration,  and  they 
were  encouraged  to  do  so  by  the  Russians.  M. 
Alexieff  doubled  all  their  salaries.  Numbers  of 
boxes  of  silver  dollars  were  taken  out  of  the 
Treasury  and  scattered  freely  among  the  palace 
officials.  The  Mint,  which  had  up  to  now  been 
working  steadily  in  Mr.  Brown’s  hands,  began 
making  erratic  experiments  in  finance.  All  this  time 
the  old  chief  sat  still.  Then  one  day  the  British 
fleet  appeared  in  Chemulpho  Harbour.  It  was  seen 
that,  for  once,  the  British  Government  had  really 
made  up  its  mind  to  act.  Men,  familiar  with  the 
wavering  action  of  Downing  Street  in  Far  Eastern 
affairs,  could  not  credit  the  news.  Yet  it  was  true, 
and  when  the  Russians  realised  it,  they  promptly 
gave  way.  De  Speyer  soon  afterwards  left  Seoul  in 
semi-disgrace,  and  M.  Alexieff  and  his  officials  with- 
drew. Mr.  Brown  was  restored  to  a considerable 
part  of  his  old  authority,  but  unfortunately  not 
to  all.  The  British  did  not  go  so  far  as  they 
might  have  done.  Had  they  carried  their  action 


THE  RUSSIAN  REGIME  95 

to  its  logical  end,  it  would  have  been  better  for 
Korea. 

In  1898  there  came  the  announcement  of  the 
leasing  by  China  to  Russia  of  the  Liaotung  Penin- 
sula. This  step  ended  all  hopes  of  a Japanese- 
Russian  alliance,  and  it  made  it  no  longer  neces- 
sary for  Russia  to  maintain  such  a hold  on  Korea. 
About  the  same  time  that  Russia  secured  Port 
Arthur,  she  entered  into  a fresh  treaty  with  Japan 
about  Korea.  She  could  afford  to  be  generous, 
and  she  was.  Both  Powers  pledged  themselves 
to  recognise  the  entire  independence  of  Korea, 
and  both  agreed  not  to  take  any  steps  for  the 
nomination  of  military  instructors  or  financial  ad- 
visers without  having  come  previously  to  a mutual 
agreement.  Russia  definitely  recognised  the  supreme 
nature  of  the  Japanese  enterprises  in  Korea,  and 
promised  not  to  impede  the  development  of  the 
commercial  and  industrial  Japanese  policy  there. 

The  news  of  this  agreement  and  the  fact  that  the 
Russian  military  instructors  and  financial  adviser 
were  withdrawn  from  Seoul  came  as  an  over- 
whelming surprise  to  Europe.  “ The  Convention 
simply  registers  the  victory  of  Japan  in  the  long 
diplomatic  duel  she  has  been  fighting  with  Russia 
over  Korea  since  the  peace  with  China,”  proclaimed 
the  Tunes.  The  Russian  Official  Messenger  tried 
to  put  the  best  face  it  could  on  the  matter,  but 
it  was  not  very  successful. 

“Since  the  conclusion  of  the  Chino-Japanese  War 
the  Imperial  Government  has  spared  no  effort  to 
secure  the  integrity  and  complete  independence  of 


96 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


the  State  of  Korea.  At  the  outset,  when  the  ques- 
tion of  placing  the  financial  and  military  organisation 
of  the  young  State  on  solid  bases  was  being  con- 
sidered, it  was  natural  that  the  latter  could  not  do 
without  foreign  support.  That  is  why,  in  1896,  the 
Sovereign  of  Korea  addressed  to  the  Emperor  a 
pressing  request  to  send  to  Seoul  Russian  military 
instructors  and  a Financial  Adviser.  Owing  to  the 
assistance  which  Russia  tendered  her  at  the  time  of 
need,  Korea  has  now  entered  upon  a path  where  she 
can  manage  her  own  affairs  even  in  an  administrative 
respect.  This  circumstance  made  it  possible  for 
Russia  and  Japan  to  proceed  to  a friendly  exchange 
of  views  to  determine  in  a clear  and  precise  manner 
the  reciprocal  relations  of  the  new  position  of  affairs 
created  in  the  Korean  Peninsula.  The  pourparlers 
in  question  led  to  the  conclusion  of  the  subjoined 
arrangement,  the  object  of  which  is  to  complete  the 
Protocol  of  Moscow,  and  which  was  signed  in  pur- 
suance of  the  Emperor’s  command  by  our  Minister 
at  Tokyo.  By  the  essential  stipulation  of  this 
arrangement,  the  two  Governments  confirm  de- 
finitively their  recognition  of  the  sovereignty  and 
entire  independence  of  the  Korean  Empire,  and  at 
the  same  time  pledge  themselves  mutually  to  abstain 
from  all  interference  in  the  internal  affairs  of  that 
country.  In  the  event  of  Korea  needing  the  assist- 
ance of  the  two  contracting  States,  Russia  and  Japan 
pledge  themselves  to  adopt  no  measure  with  regard 
to  Korea  without  preliminary  agreement  between 
them. 

“ The  Convention  attests  the  fact  that  the  two 


THE  RUSSIAN  REGIME 


97 


friendly  States,  having  extensive,  but  at  the  same 
time  perfectly  reconcilable  interests  in  the  Far  East, 
have  quite  naturally  recognised  the  necessity  of  re- 
ciprocally securing  tranquility  in  the  neighbouring 
peninsula  by  safeguarding  political  independence 
and  internal  order  in  the  young  Korean  Empire. 
In  consequence  of  the  conclusion  of  this  friendly 
arrangement,  Russia  will  be  in  a position  to  direct 
all  her  care  and  afforts  to  the  accomplishment  of 
the  historical  and  essentially  peaceful  task  devolving 
upon  her  on  the  shores  of  the  Pacific  Ocean.”  1 

Subsequent  events,  however,  were  to  prove  that 
Russia’s  abandonment  of  Korea  was  only  temporary. 
Within  a few  months  her  representatives  were  again 
intriguing  and  seeking  to  recover  domination. 

1 Translation  in  the  Times. 


8 


CHAPTER  IX 


THE  RE-ENTRY  OF  JAPAN 
HE  Japanese  had  directed  their  energies  care- 


fully, cautiously,  and  deliberately  to  recover 
lost  ground.  Both  France  and  America  were  now 
making  their  influence  felt  in  Korea,  and  Russia 
soon  renewed  her  activity.  The  French  were 
specially  desirous  of  holding  railway  concessions, 
knowing  that  command  of  railway  lines  involves 
more  or  less  sovereignty.  An  American,  Mr.  J. 
Morse,  had  been  given  the  right  to  build  a line  from 
Chemulpho  to  Seoul.  The  Japanese  advanced  the 
money,  and  secured  an  option  which  they  took  up  in 
1898.  A French  syndicate,  working  under  Russian 
direction,  obtained  authority  to  build  a railway  from 
Seoul  to  Wi-ju.  It  was  probably  intended  to  con- 
nect this  with  the  Trans-Siberian  line  by  Moukden 
and  Antung,  if  the  plan  for  the  line  to  Port  Arthur 
failed.  Soon  after  the  French  had  obtained  their 
concession,  however,  the  Port  Arthur  lease  was 
granted,  and  so  the  Wi-ju-Seoul  line  dropped  for  the 
time  from  sight.  The  Japanese  were  building  a line 
southwards  from  Seoul  to  Fusan,  which  would  make 


THE  I’ASSING  OE  THE  OLD:  A RUINED  GATEWAY  IN  SOUTH-EASTERN  KOREA. 


THE  RE-ENTRY  OF  JAPAN 


99 


it  possible  to  travel  from  Japan  to  the  Korean  capital 
in  less  than  twenty-four  hours. 

Many  foreigners  were  now  doing  business  in 
the  country.  British,  American,  and  Continental 
financiers  had  obtained  mining  concessions.  An  active 
American  house,  Messrs.  Collbran  and  Bostwick, 
established  itself  in  Seoul,  and  started  several  big 
enterprises.  There  were  many  signs  of  undoubted 
progress.  More  schools  were  started,  and  a Govern- 
ment hospital  was  established.  Diplomatic  relations 
had  for  some  time  been  maintained  with  various 
foreign  Powers,  although  the  Korean  Ministers 
abroad  often  found  it  difficult  to  draw  their  salaries. 
Electric  light  works  were  opened  in  Seoul,  and  an 
electric  tramway  laid  down  ; the  police  were  put  into 
modern  uniform,  and  the  army  was  supplied  with 
modern  weapons,  and  drilled  on  modern  lines.  Korea 
entered  the  postal  union,  and  telegraph  lines,  mainly 
under  Japanese  control,  were  in  working  order.  In 
Seoul  itself  many  outstanding  features  of  the  old  life 
had  by  now  disappeared.  Signal  fires  were  no  longer 
lit  on  the  hills,  nor  were  the  city  gates  closed  at  sunset. 
Great  public  buildings  in  foreign  style  had  arisen 
in  the  capital ; several  native  newspapers  flourished, 
and  Christianity  obtained  a great  and  growing  hold 
in  many  districts,  especially  to  the  north,  and  had  a 
profound  effect  on  the  lives  of  the  people.  Cities 
like  Ping-yang  and  Sun-chon  were  centres  of  a move- 
ment as  remarkable  as  any  in  the  annals  of  modern 
Christian  propagandism. 

Undoubtedly  much  still  remained  that  was  very 
bad  indeed.  The  Emperor  had  never  shown  the 


IOO 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


same  strength  of  mind  since  the  murder  of  his  wife. 
He  was  more  and  more  at  the  mercy  of  the  palace 
cliques  and  ambitious  Ministers.  In  the  early 
nineties  he  allowed  one  man,  Yi  Yong  Ik,  to  obtain 
predominance.  Yi  Yong  Ik  was  the  coolie  who  had 
helped  the  Queen  to  escape  in  the  great  rising  of 
1882.  His  advance  since  then  had  been  meteoric, 
and  by  1902  he  had  secured  almost  absolute  power. 
Tall,  broad-shouldered,  and  commanding  in  appear- 
ance, knowing  his  own  mind  and  of  domineering 
temper,  he  swept  to  one  side  the  feeble  and  vacil- 
lating hangers-on  of  the  Court.  Having  been  a 
poor  man  himself,  he  knew  every  trick  of  the  poor  in 
avoiding  taxation,  and  he  could  squeeze  more  out  of 
a district  than  any  of  his  rivals.  Under  him  the 
people  were  more  harshly  governed,  and  the  Imperial 
Treasuries  were  fuller  than  for  long  before.  He  was 
hated  from  end  to  end  of  the  country,  but  it  must  be 
admitted  that  his  rule  was  not  wholly  bad.  fie 
started  new  enterprises  and  encouraged  certain  forms 
of  industrial  activity,  especially  when  they  promised 
any  extra  profit  to  the  Crown. 

A growing  number  of  educated  and  foreign-trained 
Koreans  of  the  better  classes  sought  for  genuine 
reform.  Some  threw  themselves  into  the  hands  of 
the  Japanese,  hoping  to  accomplish  under  Japan 
what  their  Government  would  not  do  alone.  Reform, 
however,  was  constantly  checked  by  the  removal  of 
good  officials,  and  by  periodical  ferments  in  the 
country.  Secret  societies  in  rural  districts  maintained 
temporary  uprisings,  winter  by  winter.  Really  con- 
scientious officials  rarely  remained  long  in  office, 


THE  RE-ENTRY  OF  JAPAN  ioi 

for  neither  Japan  nor  Russia  desired  to  see  Korea 
become  independently  and  by  herself  efficient.  I 
have  the  best  reason  for  believing  that  some,  at  least, 
of  the  uprisings  in  rural  districts  were  promoted  and 
indirectly  led  by  men  other  than  Koreans. 

It  would  be  easy  to  show  the  ridiculous  side  of  the 
transformation.  For  instance,  the  Korean  Navy  had 
one  ship,  which  was  good  for  nothing ; it  also  had, 
if  I remember  rightly,  thirty-nine  admirals.  When 
the  electric  tramway  was  first  opened  in  Seoul,  the 
drivers  and  conductors  were  greatly  hindered  because 
coolies  constantly  slept  in  the  roadways,  and  used  the 
rails  as  pillows.  The  conductors  became  quite  expert 
in  throwing  these  men  off  the  track.  It  is  said — 
although  I cannot  guarantee  the  truth  of  this  story — 
that  a number  of  high  officials  presented  a petition  to 
the  Emperor  protesting  against  the  action  of  the 
tramway  company.  The  petitioners  pointed  out  that 
sleep  is  natural  for  man,  and  that  to  disturb  sleep 
suddenly  is  injurious.  They  therefore  begged  the 
Emperor  to  issue  a command  to  the  tramway  drivers 
that  when  they  came  upon  a man  sleeping  across  the 
track,  they  should  stop  their  cars  and  wait  until  he 
awoke. 

One  or  two  people  sleeping  in  this  manner  on  the 
line  were  run  over  and  killed.  Thereupon  a mob 
rose,  destroyed  a tramcar  and  nearly  killed  the 
driver.  The  leaders  were  arrested  and  brought 
before  a city  judge.  When  asked  what  excuse  they 
had,  the  leader  spoke  out  vigorously.  “ Our  fathers 
have  told  us,”  he  said,  “ that  we  must  on  no  account 
disturb  the  stone  tortoise  which  sleeps  outside  our 


102 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


city  gates.”  (This  stone  tortoise  is  a symbolic  and 
ancient  memorial  near  Seoul).  “ They  told  us  that 
once  the  tortoise  awakes,  great  troubles  will  happen 
to  our  country.  Now  the  hissing  of  these  electric 
cars  will  awaken  the  tortoise,  and  we  are  not  going 
to  have  it.  The  cars  must  stop  ! ” 

The  Japanese  had,  by  the  early  part  of  the  new 
century,  considerable  settlements  in  Seoul,  in  Che- 
mulpho,  in  Fusan,  and  elsewhere.  The  prudence  of 
Mr.  Hayashi,  the  Japanese  Minister,  was  to  some 
extent  counteracted  by  the  conduct  of  many  of  these 
immigrants.  A friendly  critic,  writing  on  the  matter 
in  1901,  said  : — 

“ Now,  it  is  well  known  how  the  Japanese  of  the 
lower  class  treat  Koreans  of  the  same  class,  even 
under  present  conditions.  Every  foreigner  has  seen 
it  and  understands  very  well  that  this  one  thing 
does  more  to  prevent  cordial  relations  between 
Koreans  and  Japanese  than  any  other.  The 
Japanese  Government  acts  with  the  utmost  wisdom 
in  carefully  scrutinising  every  Japanese  who  pro- 
poses to  come  to  Korea,  and  the  removal  of  this 
check  would  be  a severe  blow  to  good  order  and  a 
fatal  bar  to  the  growth  of  friendly  relations.  An 
eye-witness  of  the  events  in  Song-do  two  years  ago 
tells  us  how  the  Japanese  went  into  the  ginseng 
fields  and  literally  helped  themselves  to  the  valuable 
roots,  and  what  is  more,  the  Japanese  police  who 
were  sent  to  that  place  actually  connived  with  and 
protected  the  Japanese  thieves  in  this  wanton  spolia- 
tion. No,  it  is  absolutely  necessary  that  the  Japanese 
Governmen  hold  such  men  in  check,  or  the  results 


THE  RE-ENTRY  OF  JAPAN  103 

will  be  most  deplorable  both  for  the  Koreans  and  for 
the  Japanese  in  this  country.  We  fully  sympathise 
with  Japanese  efforts  to  develop  the  wealth  of  Korea, 
and  believe  that  no  others  are  so  well  prepared  to  do 
it  as  they,  and  it  is  for  this  very  reason  that  we 
strongly  favour  every  regulation  which  would  tend 
to  prevent  bitter  feeling  between  Koreans  and 
Japanese.” 

As  time  went  on  it  became  more  and  more  clear 
that  the  struggle  between  Russia  and  Japan  over 
Korea  was  not  yet  ended.  The  Russians,  under 
M.  Pavlofif,  carried  on  a somewhat  aggressive  cam- 
paign in  Seoul  itself,  and  secured  the  co-operation 
of  Yi  Yong  Ik.  When  Japan  put  forward  one  claim, 
Russia  advanced  another.  Thus,  in  1902,  the  Russian 
Minister  told  the  Foreign  Office  that  as  Korea  had 
granted  Japan  the  right  to  lay  telegraph  cables  along 
her  shores,  Russia  would  expect  to  receive  permis- 
sion to  connect  the  Korean  telegraphs  in  the  north 
with  the  Siberian  system  at  Vladivostock.  Russia 
obtained  a timber  concession  on  the  River  Yalu,  and 
laid  telegraph  wires  and  built  up  a Russian  station  at 
Masampo  on  the  Korean  side  of  the  river.  This 
station  was  practically  a cavalry  depot,  and  was 
occupied,  despite  protests,  by  Russian  troops. 

The  year  1903  found  Korea  the  centre  of  a very 
interesting  situation.  Russia  had  aroused  serious 
alarm,  especially  among  English  and  American 
people,  by  her  determined  and  exclusive  policy  in 
the  Far  East.  She  had  practically  seized  Manchuria, 
although  she  did  not  attempt,  outside  the  Liaotung 
Peninsula,  to  interfere  with  local  administration  there. 


104 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Her  forces  were  steadily,  and  apparently  irresistibly, 
advancing  upon  Korea  itself,  and  it  seemed  only  a 
question  of  time  before  at  least  Northern  Korea  must 
become  Russian.  The  hostile  action  of  Russian  re- 
presentatives in  Mongolia  in  dealing  with  Protestant 
missionaries  there  had  enlisted  the  missionary  forces 
of  England  against  Russia.  The  commercial  methods 
of  her  Eastern  officials  had  created  the  bitterest 
opposition  among  English  and  American  merchants. 
As  the  Russians  advanced  everything  possible  was 
done  by  them  to  promote  their  own  trading  interests 
at  the  cost  of  the  foreigners.  While  it  is  true  that 
no  hostile  tariff  was  instituted  by  the  Russians  in 
Manchuria,  it  is  yet  undeniable  that  they  manipu- 
lated freight  rates  on  the  China  Eastern  Railway,  so 
as  to  bar  foreign  manufactures.  The  orgies  of  the 
officials  at  Port  Arthur  and  Vladivostock,  the  drunken 
gaiety  of  the  great  military  settlements  there,  the 
doings  of  the  contractors,  the  greedy  and  immoral 
crowds  attracted  by  the  new  regime,  all  had  their 
effect  on  Western  opinion.  The  West  saw  the  sordid 
side  of  it  all.  Russia,  for  the  moment,  appeared  as 
the  panderer,  the  corrupter,  and  the  foe.  Men  forgot 
the  splendid  energy  and  great  foresight  shown  in  the 
building  of  the  Trans-Siberian  Railway  and  in  the 
creation  of  the  Pacific  coast  provinces.  The  finer 
sides  of  the  Russian  character,  the  kindliness,  the 
good-humour,  the  solidity,  and  the  long  endurance, 
were  for  the  moment  hidden  from  sight.  Every  tale 
that  could  tell  against  Russia  was  repeated  broad- 
cast. Every  incident  that  showed  the  unfavourable 
side  of  her  commercial  policy  was  shouted  aloud. 


JAPANESE  TKOOPS  DETRAINING  TO  ATTACK  KOREAN  REBELS. 


THE  RE-ENTRY  OF  JAPAN 


105 


Unfortunately,  there  was  all  too  much  lying  on  the 
surface  ready  at  hand  for  the  critics.  Russia  was 
presenting  her  foes  with  a rod  with  which  to 
scourge  her. 

While  Russia  in  the  East  was  thus  displaying 
herself  to  the  world  in  an  aspect  that  created  at 
once  fear  and  repulsion,  Japan  showed  us  her  best. 
The  efficiency  and  self-restraint  of  the  Japanese 
troops,  who  formed  part  of  the  allied  army  in  the 
Boxer  uprising  of  1900,  astonished  the  world.  Their 
courage,  their  admirable  organisation,  and  their  dis- 
cipline were  commented  on  by  military  experts 
and  correspondents  of  many  lands.  In  1902  Japan 
stepped  to  a place  among  the  Great  Powers  by 
securing  an  alliance  with  England.  Her  statesmen 
announced  that  they  stood  for  the  independence 
of  Korea  and  for  the  Open  Door.  Russia  was 
for  exclusive  trading  privileges ; Japan  was  for 
equal  opportunities  for  all  nations.  Russia  ignored 
English  and  American  opinion  ; Japan  took  every 
direct  and  indirect  opportunity  of  placating  it. 
Paid  agents  lectured  English  audiences  upon  the 
beauties  and  glories  of  Nippon.  A careful  and 
clever  press  propaganda  was  initiated,  and  books 
and  articles  of  all  kinds,  from  grave,  political 
treatises  to  light  studies,  all  singing  the  glories  of 
Japan,  were  encouraged. 

Japan  succeeded  in  creating  an  atmosphere  favour- 
able to  herself,  and  it  is  but  justice  to  admit  she 
could  not  have  done  so  but  for  the  fact  that  many 
of  her  doings  at  that  time  redounded  to  her  credit. 
Month  by  month,  too,  she  was  increasing  her  fighting 


io6 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


strength.  The  tens  of  millions  obtained  from  China 
had  been  devoted  to  a scheme  of  military  and  naval 
expansion.  Russia’s  great  surface  show  of  might 
concealed  unsuspected  and  overwhelming  sources  of 
weakness.  Japan,  the  second-rate  Asiatic  Power 
of  yesterday,  was  building  up  for  herself  ships  and 
fighting  armies  better  than  any  on  the  Pacific. 

The  Japanese  now  felt  themselves  strong  enough 
to  force  the  pace.  Their  hour  of  revenge  was  coming. 
They  chose  Korea  as  the  main  issue  of  their  quarrel, 
and  when  Russia  proceeded,  in  1903,  to  occupy  the 
territory  around  Masampo,  Japan  spoke  out  in 
unmistakable  terms.  On  August  12,  1903,  the 
Japanese  Government  formally  demanded  of  Russia 
a mutual  engagement  to  respect  the  independence 
and  territorial  integrity  of  China  and  Korea,  and  to 
maintain  the  principle  of  equal  opportunity  for  the 
commerce  and  industry  of  all  nations  in  those  two 
countries.  It  further  demanded  reciprocal  recog- 
nition of  Japan’s  preponderating  interests  in  Korea 
and  Russia’s  special  railway  enterprises  in  Manchuria, 
and  recognition  by  Russia  of  the  exclusive  right  of 
Japan  to  give  advice  and  assistance  to  Korea  in  the 
interests  of  reform  and  good  government  there. 

The  Russians,  in  reply,  asked  for  a guarantee  that 
Korea  should  not  be  used  by  Japan  for  strategical 
purposes.  They  particularly  demanded  the  preser- 
vation of  full  freedom  of  navigation  through  the 
Straits  of  Korea,  and  they  wished  a definite  pledge 
that  Japan  would  erect  no  fortifications  in  the 
Peninsula.  The  Russians  were  no  doubt  willing  to 
hand  Korea  over  to  Japan  for  commercial  and 


THE  RE-ENTRY  OF  JAPAN 


107 


political,  but  not  military,  purposes,  on  condition 
that  Japan  did  not  interfere  with  them  in  Man- 
churia. St.  Petersburg  refused  to  be  hurried,  and 
Russian  officials  in  the  Far  East  laughed  to  scorn 
the  idea  that  Japan  would  dare  to  attack  their  great 
nation.  Korea  despatched  a formal  declaration  of 
neutrality  to  the  Powers  and  thought  that  she  had 
made  herself  safe. 

The  end  is  known  to  all  men.  On  February  10, 
1904,  the  Emperor  of  Japan,  “sitting  on  the  same 
throne  occupied  by  the  same  dynasty  from  time 
immemorial,”  formally  declared  war  against  Russia. 
His  main  reasons,  as  stated  in  the  declaration  of  war, 
were  the  threatened  Russian  absorption  of  Manchuria 
and  the  consequent  imperilment  of  the  integrity  of 
Korea. 

The  Japanese  Government,  in  an  official  communi- 
cation sent  out  at  the  time  to  the  Powers,  repeated, 
in  the  most  solemn  and  formal  manner,  that  its 
purpose  was  to  maintain  the  independence  and  terri- 
torial integrity  of  Korea  and  to  uphold  the  policy  of 
the  Open  Door  and  equal  opportunities  for  all  nations. 

Even  before  the  declaration  of  war  had  been 
issued,  on  the  evening  of  February  8th,  a Japanese 
fleet  approached  the  harbour  of  Chemulpho,  landed 
troops  there,  and  next  day  fought  and  destroyed 
two  Russian  warships  in  the  harbour.  Those  of  us 
who  stood  on  the  frozen  shores  on  that  cold  February 
night,  looking  at  the  trim  and  alert  Japanese  infantry, 
their  figures  revealed  by  the  glowing  coal  and  paraffin 
fires  on  the  landing-stage,  knew  that  the  old  history 
of  Korea  was  over  and  that  a new  era  had  begun. 


CHAPTER  X 


THE  BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA 
N the  same  day  that  the  battle  of  Chemulpho 


was  fought  between  the  Japanese  and  Russian 
warships,  Japanese  troops  took  possession  of  the 
city  of  Seoul,  and  surrounded  the  palace  of  the 
Emperor.  The  Russian  Minister,  M.  Pavloff,  was 
made  a semi-prisoner  in  his  own  house,  and  a few 
days  later  was  conducted  with  every  show  of 
courtesy  to  the  coast.  A new  treaty  between  Japan 
and  Korea,  probably  drawn  up  in  advance,  was 
signed  — the  Emperor  being  ordered  to  consent 
without  hesitation  or  alteration — and  Japan  began 
her  work  as  the  open  protector  of  Korea.  The 
Korean  Government  now  promised  to  place  full 
confidence  in  Japan,  and  to  follow  her  lead  ; and 
Japan  pledged  herself,  “in  a spirit  of  firm  friendship, 
to  ensure  the  safety  and  repose”  of  the  Korean 
Imperial  house,  and  definitely  guaranteed  the  in- 
dependence and  territorial  integrity  of  the  country. 
Korea  further  promised  to  give  Japan  every  facility 
for  military  operations  during  war. 

The  pro-Russian  officials  around  the  Emperor  were 
naturally  much  alarmed.  At  first  it  seemed  to  them 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  109 


impossible  that  war  had  begun  on  their  soil,  and  that 
the  Japanese  had  driven  the  Russians  out.  A day  or 
two  before  the  landing  of  the  Japanese,  Yi  Yong  Ik, 
the  Prime  Minister,  in  the  course  of  a conversation 
with  myself,  emphatically  declared  his  confident 
belief  that  Korea  would  not  be  mixed  up  in  any 
Russo-Japanese  conflict.  “Let  Russia  and  Japan 
fight,”  he  said,  “ Korea  will  take  no  share  in  their 
fighting.  Our  Emperor  has  issued  a declaration  of 
neutrality,  and  by  that  we  will  abide.  If  our 
neutrality  is  broken,  the  Powers  will  act  without 
being  asked,  and  will  protect  us.” 

The  Japanese  at  first  behaved  with  great  modera- 
tion. The  officials  who  had  been  hostile  to  them 
were  left  unpunished,  and  some  were  quickly  em- 
ployed in  the  Japanese  service.  The  troops  marching 
northwards  maintained  rigid  discipline,  and  treated 
the  people  well.  Food  that  was  taken  was  paid  for 
at  fair  prices,  and  the  thousands  of  labourers  who 
were  pressed  into  the  army  service  as  carriers  were 
rewarded  with  a liberality  and  promptitude  which 
left  them  surprised.  The  Japanese  rates  of  payment 
were  so  high  that  they  materially  affected  the  labour 
market.  Mr.  Hayashi  did  everything  he  could  to 
reassure  the  Korean  Emperor,  and  repeated  promises 
were  given  that  Japan  desired  nothing  else  than  the 
good  of  Korea  and  the  strengthening  of  the  Korean 
nation.  The  Marquis  I to  was  soon  afterwards  sent 
to  Seoul  on  a special  mission  from  the  Mikado,  and 
he  repeated  and  reaffirmed  the  declarations  of  friend- 
ship and  help  even  more  emphatically  than  the 
Resident  Minister. 


I IO 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


All  this  was  not  without  effect  upon  the  Korean 
mind.  The  people  of  the  north  had  learnt  to  dislike 
the  Russians,  because  of  their  lack  of  discipline  and 
want  of  restraint.  They  had  been  alienated  in 
particular  by  occasional  interference  with  Korean 
women  by  the  Russian  soldiers.  I travelled  largely 
throughout  the  northern  regions  in  the  early  days  of 
the  war,  and  everywhere  I heard  from  the  people 
during  the  first  few  weeks  nothing  but  expressions 
of  friendship  to  the  Japanese.  The  coolies  and 
farmers  were  friendly  because  they  hoped  that 
Japan  would  modify  the  oppression  of  the  native 
magistrates.  A large  section  of  better-class  people, 
especially  those  who  had  received  some  foreign 
training,  were  sympathetic,  because  they  credited 
Japan’s  promises  and  had  been  convinced  by  old 
experience  that  no  far-reaching  reforms  could  come 
to  their  land  without  foreign  aid.  As  victory 
followed  victory,  however,  the  attitude  of  the 
Japanese  grew  less  kindly.  A large  number  of 
petty  tradesmen  followed  the  army,  and  these  showed 
none  of  the  restraint  of  the  military.  They  travelled 
about,  sword  in  hand,  taking  what  they  wished  and 
doing  as  they  pleased.  Then  the  army  cut  down  the 
rate  of  pay  for  coolies,  and,  from  being  overpaid, 
the  native  labourers  were  forced  to  toil  for  half 
their  ordinary  earnings.  The  military,  too,  gradually 
began  to  acquire  a more  domineering  air.  It  was 
enough  for  any  man  in  the  north  to  be  suspected  of 
holding  intercourse  with  the  Russians,  for  his  death 
to  follow,  and  follow  quickly.  The  Japanese,  them- 
selves past-masters  in  the  art  of  espionage,  were  the 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  iii 


most  rigid  suppressors  of  attempts  to  spy  upon  their 
own  doings.  There  is  little  doubt  that  many  people 
were  unjustly  put  to  death  in  this  way.  A man  who 
had  Russian  money  on  him  was  at  once  dealt  with 
as  a spy.  This,  however,  was  nothing  more  than 
might  have  been  expected  during  the  strain  of 
war. 

In  Seoul  itself  a definite  line  of  policy  was  being 
pursued.  The  Korean  Government  had  employed 
a number  of  foreign  advisers.  These  were  steadily 
eliminated;  some  of  them  were  paid  up  for  the  full 
time  of  their  engagements  and  sent  off,  and  others 
were  told  that  their  agreements  would  not  be  renewed. 
Numerous  Japanese  advisers  were  brought  in,  and, 
step  by  step,  the  administration  was  Japanised.  This 
process  was  hastened  by  a supplementary  agreement 
concluded  in  August,  when  the  Korean  Emperor 
practically  handed  the  control  of  administrative 
functions  over  to  the  Japanese.  He  agreed  to  engage 
a Japanese  financial  adviser,  to  reform  the  currency,  to 
reduce  his  army,  to  adopt  Japanese  military  and  edu- 
cational methods,  and  eventually  to  trust  the  foreign 
relations  to  Japan.  One  of  the  first  results  of  this 
new  agreement  was  that  Mr.  (now  Baron)  Megata  was 
given  control  of  the  Korean  finances.  He  quickly 
brought  extensive  and,  on  the  whole,  admirable 
changes  into  the  currency.  Under  the  old  methods, 
Korean  money  was  among  the  worst  in  the  world. 
The  famous  gibe  of  a British  Consul  in  an  official 
report,  that  the  Korean  coins  might  be  divided  into 
good,  good  counterfeits,  bad  counterfeits,  and 
counterfeits  so  bad  that  they  can  only  be  passed 


I 12 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


off  in  the  dark,  was  by  no  means  an  effort  of 
imagination.  In  the  days  before  the  war  it  was 
necessary,  when  one  received  any  sum  of  money,  to 
employ  an  expert  to  count  over  the  coins,  and  put 
aside  the  worst  counterfeits.  The  old  nickels  were 
so  cumbersome  that  a very  few  pounds’  worth  of  them 
formed  a heavy  load  for  a pony.  Mr.  Megata 
changed  all  this,  and  put  the  currency  on  a sound 
basis,  naturally  not  without  some  temporary  trouble, 
but  certainly  with  permanent  benefit  to  the  country. 

The  next  great  step  in  the  Japanese  advance  was 
the  acquirement  of  the  entire  Korean  postal  and 
telegraph  system.  This  was  taken  over,  despite 
Korean  protests.  More  and  more  Japanese  gen- 
darmes were  brought  in  and  established  themselves 
everywhere.  They  started  to  control  all  political 
activity.  Men  who  protested  against  Japanese  action 
were  arrested  and  imprisoned,  or  driven  abroad.  A 
notorious  pro-Japanese  society,  the  II  Chin  Hoi,  was 
fostered  by  every  possible  means,  it  being  said  that, 
for  a time,  the  members  received  direct  payments 
through  Japanese  sources.  The  payment  at  one 
period  was  put  at  50  sen  (is.)  a day.  Notices  were 
posted  in  Seoul  that  no  one  could  organise  a political 
society  unless  the  Japanese  headquarters  consented, 
and  no  one  could  hold  a meeting  for  discussing  affairs 
without  permission,  and  without  having  it  guarded 
by  Japanese  police.  All  letters  and  circulars  issued 
by  political  societies  were  first  to  be  submitted  to  the 
headquarters.  Those  who  offended  made  themselves 
punishable  by  martial  law. 

Gradually  the  hand  of  Japan  became  heavier  and 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  113 


heavier.  Little  aggravating  changes  were  made.  The 
Japanese  military  authorities  decreed  that  Japanese 
time  should  be  used  for  all  public  work,  and  they 
changed  the  names  of  the  towns  from  Korean  to 
Japanese.  Martial  law  was  now  enforced  with  the 
utmost  rigidity.  Scores  of  thousands  of  Japanese 
coolies  poured  into  the  country,  and  spread  abroad,  act- 
ing in  a most  oppressive  way.  These  coolies,  who  had 
been  kept  strictly  under  discipline  in  their  own  land, 
here  found  themselves  masters  of  a weaker  people. 
The  Korean  magistrates  dared  not  punish  them, 
and  the  few  Japanese  residents,  scattered  in  the 
provinces,  would  not.  The  coolies  were  poor, 
uneducated,  strong,  and  with  the  inherited  brutal 
traditions  of  generations  of  their  ancestors  who 
had  looked  upon  force  and  strength  as  supreme 
right.  They  went  through  the  country  like  a 
plague.  If  they  wanted  a thing  they  took  it.  If 
they  fancied  a house,  they  turned  the  resident  out. 
They  beat,  they  outraged,  they  murdered  in  a 
way  and  on  a scale  of  which  it  is  difficult  for 
any  white  man  to  speak  with  moderation.  Koreans 
were  flogged  to  death  for  offences  that  did  not 
deserve  a sixpenny  fine.  They  were  shot  for 
mere  awkwardness.  Men  were  dispossessed  of 
their  homes  by  every  form  of  guile  and  trickery. 
It  has  been  my  lot  to  hear  from  Koreans  them- 
selves and  from  white  men  living  in  the  districts, 
hundreds  upon  hundreds  of  incidents  of  this  time, 
all  to  the  same  effect.  The  outrages  were  allowed 
to  pass  unpunished  and  unheeded.  The  Korean 
who  approached  the  office  of  a Japanese  resident 

9 


1 14  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

to  complain  was  thrown  out,  as  a rule,  by  the 
underlings. 

One  act  on  the  part  of  the  Japanese  surprised 
most  of  those  who  knew  them  best.  In  Japan  itself 
opium-smoking  is  prohibited  under  the  heaviest 
penalties,  and  elaborate  precautions  are  taken  to  shut 
opium  in  any  of  its  forms  out  of  the  country.  Strict 
anti-opium  laws  were  also  enforced  in  Korea  under 
the  old  administration.  The  Japanese,  however,  now 
permitted  numbers  of  their  people  to  travel  through 
the  interior  of  Korea  selling  morphia  to  the  natives. 
In  the  north-west  in  particular  this  caused  quite  a 
wave  of  morphia-mania. 

The  Japanese  had  evidently  set  themselves  to 
acquire  possession  of  as  much  Korean  land  as 
possible.  The  military  authorities  staked  out  large 
portions  of  the  finest  sites  in  the  country,  the 
river-lands  near  Seoul,  the  lands  around  Ping-yang, 
great  districts  to  the  north,  and  fine  strips  all  along 
the  railway.  Hundreds  of  thousands  of  acres  were 
thus  acquired.  A nominal  sum  was  paid  as  compen- 
sation to  the  Korean  Government — a sum  that  did 
not  amount  to  one-twentieth  part  of  the  real  value 
of  the  land.  The  people  who  were  turned  out 
received,  in  many  cases,  nothing  at  all,  and,  in 
others,  one-tenth  to  one-twentieth  of  the  fair  value. 
The  land  was  seized  by  the  military,  nominally 
for  purposes  of  war.  Within  a few  months  large 
parts  of  it  were  being  resold  to  Japanese  builders 
and  shopkeepers,  and  Japanese  settlements  were 
growing  up  on  them.  This  theft  of  land  was  one 
of  the  most  outrageous  tyrannies  possible  to  imagine 


m 


Photograph  by] 


[F.  A.  McKenzie. 


THE  APPEAL  TO  THE  CROSS,  YAX-GUN. 


...... 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  115 


on  a weaker  nation.  It  beggared  thousands  of 
formerly  prosperous  people. 

The  Japanese  Minister  pushed  forward,  in  the 
early  days  of  the  war,  a scheme  of  land  appropria- 
tion that  would  have  handed  two-thirds  of  Korea 
over  at  a blow  to  a Japanese  concessionaire,  a 
Mr.  Nagamori,  had  it  gone  through.  Under  this 
scheme  all  the  waste  lands  of  Korea,  which 
included  all  unworked  mineral  lands,  were  to  be 
given  to  Mr.  Nagamori  nominally  for  fifty  years, 
but  really  on  a perpetual  lease,  without  any  pay- 
ment or  compensation,  and  with  freedom  from 
taxation  for  some  time.  Mr.  Nagamori  was  simply 
a cloak  for  the  Japanese  Government  in  this  matter. 
The  comprehensive  nature  of  the  request  stirred  even 
the  foreign  representatives  in  Seoul  to  action.  A 
wave  of  indignation  swept  over  the  nation,  and  for  the 
moment  the  Japanese  had  to  abandon  the  scheme. 

It  may  be  asked  why  the  Korean  people  did  not 
make  vigorous  protests  against  the  appropriation 
of  their  land.  They  did  all  they  could,  as  can  be 
seen  by  the  “ Five  Rivers  ” case.  One  part  of 
the  Japanese  policy  was  to  force  loans  upon  the 
Korean  Government.  On  one  occasion  it  was 
proposed  that  Japan  should  lend  Korea 
2,000,000  yen.  The  residents  in  a prosperous 
district  near  Seoul,  the  “ Five  Rivers,”  informed 
the  Emperor  that  if  he  wanted  money,  they  would 
raise  it  and  so  save  them  the  necessity  of  borrow- 
ing from  foreigners.  Soon  afterwards  these  people 
were  all  served  with  notice  to  quit,  as  their  land 
was  wanted  by  the  Japanese  military  authorities. 


Ii6 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


The  district  contained,  it  was  said,  about 
15,000  houses.  The  inhabitants  protested,  and 
finally  a large  number  of  them  went  as  a deputa- 
tion into  Seoul,  and  demanded  to  see  the  Minister 
for  Home  Affairs.  They  were  met  by  a Japanese 
policeman,  who  was  soon  reinforced  by  about 
twenty  others,  and  these  refused  to  allow  the 
people  forward.  In  a few  minutes  police  and  mob 
were  freely  fighting.  Many  of  the  Koreans  were 
wounded,  some  of  them  severely,  and  finally,  in 
spite  of  a stubborn  resistance,  they  were  driven 
back.  Afterwards  a mixed  force  of  Japanese 
police  and  soldiers  went  down  to  their  district,  and 
firing  blank  cartridges,  drove  them  from  their 
villages. 

The  foreign  protests  began  now  to  be  more  and 
more  frequent,  and  many  Europeans  and  Americans 
who  were  most  strongly  sympathetic  with  Japan 
at  the  beginning,  veered  over  to  an  attitude  of 
criticism  and  semi-hostility.  Papers  like  the 
Korea  Review,  which  had  at  first  been  outspokenly 
friendly,  began  more  and  more  to  question.  “ We 
have  consistently  upheld  the  Japanese  in  their 
opposition  to  Russian  intrigue  in  the  Far  East,” 
wrote  the  editor  of  the  Korea  Review.  “Japan  is 
doing  a splendid  work  and  is  fitting  herself  to  do 
a still  greater  work  in  this  region.  She  probably 
aspires  to  be  a leader  of  opinion  in  this  part  of 
the  world,  and  to  bring  her  influence  to  bear 
upon  China  for  the  renovation  of  that  enormous 
mass  of  humanity.  That  is  a much  larger  work 
than  the  mere  absorption  of  a little  corner  of  the 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  117 


Far  East  like  Korea ; but  if  Japan  breaks  her 
solemn  pledges  to  Korea  and  continues  to  treat 
this  people  as  she  is  now  doing,  she  is  sure  to 
injure  herself  in  the  eyes  of  the  world.  Japan 
is  fighting  Russia  because  of  the  latter’s  broken 
promises  in  Manchuria,  but  if  Japan  herself  breaks 
the  promises  she  has  made  to  Korea,  how  can 
she  gain  the  countenance  and  acquiescence  of  the 
Western  Powers  in  any  plan  for  large  work  in  the 
rehabilitation  of  China  ? The  best  thing  for 
Japan,  from  the  merely  selfish  standpoint,  would 
be  to  clear  her  skirts  of  all  suspicion  of  double- 
dealing with  Korea,  to  give  this  people  even- 
handed  justice,  to  visit  swift  and  exemplary 
punishment  on  any  Japanese  subject  who  treats 
a Korean  less  justly  than  he  would  a fellow- 
Japanese.” 

The  Japanese  brought  over  among  their  many 
advisers,  one  foreigner — an  American,  Mr.  Stevens — 
who  had  for  some  time  served  in  the  Japanese 
Foreign  Office.  Mr.  Stevens  was  nominally  in  the 
employment  of  the  Korean  Government,  but  really 
he  was,  and  is,  a more  thorough-going  servant  of 
Japan  than  many  Japanese  themselves.  Two 
foreigners,  whose  positions  seemed  fairly  established, 
were  greatly  in  the  way  of  the  new  rulers.  One 
was  Dr.  Allen,  the  American  Minister  at  Seoul. 
Dr.  Allen  had  shown  himself  to  be  an  independent 
and  impartial  representative  of  his  country.  He  was 
very  friendly  to  the  Japanese  cause,  but  he  did  not 
think  it  necessary  to  shut  his  eyes  to  the  darker 
sides  of  their  administration.  This  led  to  his  down- 


1 1 8 THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

fall.  He  took  opportunity  on  one  occasion  to  tell 
his  Government  some  unpalatable  truths.  Influence 
against  him  was  employed  in  a subtle  and  delicate 
way,  and  it  was  implied  that  he  was  not  wholly  a 
persona  gratia  to  the  Japanese  authorities.  In  con- 
sequence he  was  very  summarily  and  somewhat  dis- 
courteously recalled,  greatly  to  the  surprise  and 
indignation  of  the  American  community  in  Korea. 
The  next  victim  was  Mr.  McLeavy  Brown,  the  Chief 
Commissioner  of  Customs.  Mr.  Brown  had  done 
everything  possible  at  first  to  work  with  the 
Japanese,  but  later  there  came  conflicts  of  authority 
between  him  and  Mr.  Megata.  Negotiations  were 
entered  into  with  the  British  authorities,  and  in 
the  end  Mr.  Brown  received  his  conge.  When  the 
Russians  had  tried  to  turn  Mr.  Brown  away,  they 
were  met  by  the  assembling  of  a British  fleet  in 
Chemulpho  Harbour  ; when  the  Japanese  tried  it, 
their  act  passed  almost  without  comment,  save 
from  those  well  acquainted  with  the  country.  Mr. 
Brown  was  too  loyal  and  self-sacrificing  to  dispute 
the  ruling,  and  he  submitted  in  silence. 

Revisiting  the  interior  of  Korea  in  the  summer  of 
1906,  I saw  much  that  appalled  me.  I quote  here 
some  of  my  personal  impressions  as  written  at  the 
time : — 

“ When  I first  heard  these  charges  from  the 
Koreans  I naturally  suspected  exaggeration.  I 
talked  the  matter  over  with  the  leading  Japanese, 
but  these,  while  partly  admitting  some  of  the  com- 
plaints, claimed  that  they  were  past — temporary 
wrongs  incidental  to  war  time — and  that  all  is 


PUNISHMENT  IN  KOREA  UNDER  THE  JAPANESE  ADMINISTRATION  : PRISONERS — MEN  AND  A WOMAN 

OUT  OF  ONE  CELL,  PING-YANG. 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  119 


going  right  now.  I found,  however,  when  I went 
into  the  country,  too  many  new  cases  to  enable 
me  to  accept  this  view. 

“ I questioned  the  European  and  American  resi- 
dents, and  compared  notes  with  many  scores  of 
them.  Diplomats,  missionaries,  merchants,  doctors, 
and  teachers  all  told  me  practically  the  same  tale, 
and  that  tale  elaborated  and  confirmed  the  Korean 
case.  I say  all,  but  that  is  not  quite  accurate.  I 
found  four  white  men  who  defended  the  Japanese 
policy.  One  was  an  American  official  in  the  Japanese 
service,  and  the  other  three  were  tradesmen  doing 
considerable  business  with  the  Japanese  authorities. 

“ Apart  from  these  four,  the  attitude  was  generally 
this:  ‘We  are  no  more  pro-Russian  than  ever  we 
were,’  the  people  would  say.  ‘ We  believe  in  the 
splendid  future  before  Japan  if  she  only  will  rise 
to  it.  But  the  Japanese  doings  in  Korea  during 
the  past  two  years  have  been  so  bad  that  we  cannot 
keep  silence.’ 

“ I made  great  efforts  to  find  an  independent  white 
man  who  would  stand  up  for  the  Japanese  policy 
At  last  I thought  I had  found  one  in  an  American 
missionary  doctor,  living  in  the  interior,  who  last 
year  wrote  forcibly  and  eloquently  for  Japan.  Alas  ! 
I came  to  see  the  doctor  at  an  unfortunate  moment. 
Some  Japanese  soldiers  had  only  the  previous  day 
invaded  the  home  of  one  of  his  chief  native  preachers, 
and  had  badly  beaten  the  preacher  when  he  attempted 
to  stop  them  from  penetrating  into  his  women’s 
quarter.  Soldiers  had  seized  the  home  of  an  elderly 
servant  of  the  doctor  not  many  days  before.  His 


120 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Korean  neighbours  were  suffering  because  of  the 
seizure  of  their  lands.  I heard  no  defence  of  Japan 
there. 

“ The  barbarities  of  the  Korean  courts  and  prisons 
still  remain  unchecked.  My  attention  was  called  to 
the  state  of  the  prisons,  and  I visited  two  of  them. 
In  the  first,  at  Ping-yang,  I found  eighteen  men  and 
one  woman  confined  in  one  cell.  Several  of  the  men 
were  fastened  to  the  ground  by  wooden  stocks.  The 
prisoners  were  emaciated,  and  their  bodies  showed 
plain  signs  of  horrible  disease.  Their  clothing  was 
of  the  poorest,  the  cell  was  indescribably  filthy,  and 
the  prisoners  were  confined  in  it,  without  exercise 
and  without  employment,  year  after  year.  One  man 
had  been  in  the  cell  for  six  years. 

“ The  second  prison,  Sun-chon,  was  much  worse. 
In  the  inner  room  there — so  dark  that  for  some 
moments  I could  see  nothing — I found  three  men 
fastened  flat  on  the  ground,  their  heads  and  feet  in 
stocks  and  their  hands  tied  together.  The  room  had 
no  light  or  ventilation,  save  from  a small  hole  in  the 
wall.  The  men’s  backs  were  fearfully  scarred  with 
cuts  from  beatings.  Their  arms  were  cut  to  the  bone 
in  many  places  by  the  ropes  that  had  been  tightly 
bound  around  them,  and  the  wounds  thus  made  were 
suppurating  freely.  The  upper  parts  of  the  limbs 
were  swollen  ; great  weals  and  blisters  could  be  seen 
on  their  flesh.  One  man’s  eyes  were  closed,  and  the 
sight  gone,  heavy  suppuration  oozing  from  the  closed 
lids.  Presumably  the  eyes  had  been  knocked  in  by 
blows.  The  men  had  lain  thus  confined  without 
moving  for  days.  I had  them  brought  out  into  the 


PUNISHMENT  IN  KOREA  UNDER  THE  JAPANESE  ADMINISTRATION  : PRISONERS  IN  SUN-CHON 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  121 


sunshine.  It  was  difficult  work  ; one  of  them  had 
already  largely  lost  the  use  of  his  limbs,  owing  to 
their  contraction.  They  were  all  starved  and  so 
broken  that  they  had  not  even  spirit  to  plead.  The 
place  was  the  nearest  approach  to  hell  I have  ever 
seen. 

“ While  in  Japan,  before  my  present  visit  to  Korea, 
I had  the  privilege  of  a long  interview  with  the 
Marquis  Ito,  the  Resident-General  and  head  of  the 
Japanese  administration.  The  Marquis  Ito  is,  as  all 
the  world  knows,  the  greatest  and  most  famous  of 
the  older  statesmen  of  Japan.  His  coming  to  Korea 
when  he  did  was  an  act  of  splendid  self-sacrifice. 

“ As  the  Marquis  unfolded  his  plans  for  the  im- 
provement of  Korea  my  heart  rose.  There  was  to 
be  reform,  justice,  and  conciliation.  Any  mistakes 
in  the  past  were  to  be  remedied.  ‘ I feel  that  I stand 
midway  between  the  Koreans  and  my  own  people  to 
see  justice  done  to  both,’  the  Marquis  declared. 

“ Standing  in  the  cell  at  Sun-chon  I recalled  those 
words,  and  despite  the  strength,  sincerity,  and  high 
purpose  of  the  Marquis,  they  seemed  little  better  than 
a hollow  mockery.”  1 

Lest  it  should  be  thought  that  I have  allowed 
personal  sympathy  with  the  Korean  people  to  colour 
my  statement  of  their  grievances,  I would  appeal  to 
the  evidence  of  a witness  strongly  and  consistently 
pro-Japanese — Mr.  George  Kennan.  As  all  who  were 
behind  the  scenes  to  any  extent  in  Japan  at  the 
period  during  and  following  the  war  are  aware,  the 
Japanese  authorities  had  no  abler  or  more  powerful 

1 London  Daily  Mail , September  8,  1906. 


122 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


advocate  in  the  Press  of  America  than  this  writer. 
Mr.  Kennan’s  great  strength  lay  in  his  unquestion- 
able sincerity,  and  in  the  influence  he  possessed  in 
America,  thanks  to  his  former  writings  on  Siberia. 

In  the  late  summer  of  1905  Mr.  Kennan  visited 
Korea  and  wrote  some  articles  on  the  Korean 
question  in  the  New  York  Outlook.  He  strongly 
supported  the  Japanese  cause  in  the  Hermit  King- 
dom, and  emphatically  condemned  the  corruption 
and  weakness  of  the  Korean  Government  and  nation. 
But  when  Mr.  Kennan  came  down  to  actual  adminis- 
trative details,  he  could  not  shut  his  eyes  to  plain 
facts.  He  admitted  that  the  Japanese  “have  not 
displayed  in  that  field  (Korea)  anything  like  the 
intelligent  prevision,  the  conspicuous  ability  and 
the  remarkable  capacity  for  prearrangement  that 
they  have  shown  in  the  arena  of  war.” 

After  an  outspoken  condemnation  of  the  Naga- 
mori  scheme,  and  of  the  employment  by  the  Japanese 
of  some  of  the  worst  of  the  old  Korean  officials,  Mr. 
Kennan  went  on  : — 

“ Having  disappointed  expectation  by  failing  to 
reform  the  Korean  Civil  Service,  and  having  irritated 
the  people  by  proposing  to  turn  over  a large  part  of 
the  Empire  to  a foreign  syndicate,  the  Japanese 
authorities  made  a third  mistake  in  allowing  their 
own  countrymen  to  swarm  into  Korea  by  tens  of 
thousands  before  they  had  provided  any  legal 
machinery  for  the  adjudication  and  settlement  of 
disputes  between  the  immigrants  and  the  natives. 
In  Japan,  as  in  every  other  country,  there  are  good 
men  and  bad  men,  men  who  are  fair  and  honest  and 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  123 


men  who  are  reckless  and  unscrupulous.  When  a 
new  and  undeveloped  country  is  suddenly  thrown 
open  to  business  enterprise,  it  is  likely  to  be  invaded 
first  by  speculators,  exploiters,  and  adventurers,  who 
expect  to  fish  in  troubled  waters,  and  who  think  that 
they  can  make  big  profits  by  taking  early  advantage 
of  native  ignorance  and  inexperience.  Such  has 
been  the  case  in  some  of  our  own  colonial  de- 
pendencies, and  such  was  the  case  in  Korea.  The 
Japanese  who  went  there  first  were  largely  men  who 
wanted  to  get  rich  quickly,  and  who  had  no  scruples 
with  regard  to  methods.  Considerations  of  Imperial 
welfare  and  policy  were  nothing  to  them,  and  any 
action  seemed  to  them  permissible  if  it  did  not 
land  them  in  jail.  Many  of  them  regarded  the  rights 
of  the  Koreans  as  some  of  us  regard  the  rights  of  the 
Indians,  and  when  the  two  nationalities  came  into 
conflict  the  Koreans  invariably  went  to  the  wall. 
The  immigrants  not  only  cheated  the  natives  when 
they  had  the  opportunity,  but,  relying  upon  the 
absence  of  legal  control,  often  ill-treated  them 
personally  and  deprived  them  of  their  property  by 
force.  The  Japanese  authorities,  of  course,  dis- 
approved of  this,  and  did  what  they  could  to  prevent 
it ; but  fifty  or  sixty  thousand  immigrants  scattered 
over  a country  more  than  twice  as  big  as  Indiana, 
and  almost  as  destitute  of  means  of  intercommuni- 
cation as  Alaska,  are  not  to  be  controlled  by  half 
a dozen  consuls  ; and  as  the  victims  of  the  ill-treat- 
ment had  no  protection  from  their  own  officials,  and 
no  redress  in  their  own  courts,  they  were  practically 
defenceless. 


124 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


“ The  Koreans  are  mostly  exaggerators  or  bare- 
faced liars,  by  heredity  and  by  training,  and  it  is 
impossible  to  accept,  without  careful  verification,  the 
statements  which  they  make  with  regard  to  Japanese 
misbehaviour  ; but  I am  satisfied,  from  cases  that  I 
have  investigated,  and  from  the  testimony  of  the 
Japanese  themselves,  that  the  natives  have  good 
ground  for  complaint.  To  illustrate  by  a few 
examples  : — 

(1)  “A  Japanese  coolie  goes  to  the  stand  of  a 
Korean  fruit-seller,  eats  half  a yen  worth  of  peaches 
or  grapes,  throws  down  five  or  ten  sen,  and  walks 
away.  The  Korean  dealer  follows  him  and  insists 
upon  having  the  market  value  of  the  fruit  consumed. 
The  demand  leads  to  an  altercation,  and  at  the  end 
of  it  the  Japanese  kicks  or  cuffs  the  Korean  and  goes 
on  his  way,  leaving  the  latter  defrauded  and  insulted. 

(2)  “ Half  a dozen  Japanese  prospectors  in  the 
country  find  a piece  of  unowned  and  unoccupied 
land  which  needs  only  irrigation  to  make  it  valuable. 
They  discover  that  they  can  irrigate  it  by  changing 
the  course  of  a small  stream  which  waters  the  rice- 
field  of  a Korean  farmer  lower  down,  and  they  pro- 
ceed at  once  to  dig  the  necessary  ditches.  When 
the  owner  of  the  rice-field  protests,  they  browbeat 
and  intimidate  him,  and  tell  him  that  if  he  has  a 
valid  claim  to  that  water  privilege,  he  can  go  to  the 
Japanese  Consul  and  prove  it. 

(3)  “ The  Korean  Government,  through  one  of  its 
Cabinet  officers,  secretly  sells  to  a Japanese  syndicate 
the  right  to  share  equally  with  the  Koreans  in  the 
fishing  privileges  on  a certain  stretch  of  coast.  The 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  125 


syndicate  immediately  assumes  that  this  concession 
grants  an  exclusive  right,  and  its  employees  proceed 
to  drive  away  the  Korean  fishermen  and  confiscate 
the  fish  which  the  latter  have  already  caught.  In 
June,  1905,  a quarrel  over  a transaction  of  this  kind 
occurred  near  Masampho,  and  in  the  fight  that 
ensued  fourteen  men  are  said  to  have  been  killed. 

(4)  “ A Korean  from  the  country  goes  to  a 
Japanese  broker  in  Seoul  and  exchanges  400  yen  for 
Korean  nickels.  As  the  money,  in  the  shape  of 
nickels,  is  bulky,  and  as  the  Korean  has  no  immediate 
use  for  it,  he  leaves  it  with  the  broker  on  deposit  and 
takes  a receipt.  When,  some  time  later,  he  calls  for 
it,  the  broker  assumes  an  air  of  surprise  and  declares 
that  he — the  depositor — has  already  withdrawn  it. 
The  Korean  produces  the  receipt  as  evidence  of  the 
debt,  and  insists  that  if  the  broker  had  paid  the 
money  he  would  have  taken  up  the  voucher.  The 
broker  merely  reiterates  the  statement  that  he  has 
returned  the  deposit,  and  explains  that  his  failure 
to  take  up  the  receipt  was  due  to  inadvertence.  The 
Korean  goes  to  the  Japanese  consulate  with  his  com- 
plaint and  is  turned  back  at  the  door.  He  then  gets 
an  American  missionary  to  accompany  him,  and 
finally  succeeds  in  gaining  admittance.  The  Japanese 
Vice-Consul,  not  knowing  that  the  missionary  under- 
stands the  Korean  language,  begins  to  abuse  the 
unfortunate  depositor  for  dragging  a foreigner  into 
the  case,  whereupon  the  American  explains,  mildly, 
that  he  has  accompanied  the  Korean  merely  because 
the  latter  has  failed  to  get  admission  alone.  The 
Vice-Consul  says  that  he  will  investigate  the  case, 


126 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


but  he  fails  to  do  so  and  the  Korean  loses  his 
money. 

(5)  “ A Korean  leases  his  house  to  a Japanese  for 
one  year,  and  at  the  expiration  of  that  period  sells  it 
to  another  person.  The  tenant  in  possession  refuses 
to  move  out,  and  defies  the  owner  to  eject  him.  The 
Japanese  Consul  fails  to  take  action  upon  the  com- 
plaint of  the  Korean,  and  the  latter  is  virtually 
deprived  of  his  property  without  any  process  of  law. 

(6)  “A  Japanese  railroad  contractor  makes  a deal 
with  a Korean  official  for  the  services  of  100  Korean 
coolies,  who  are  to  be  paid  at  the  rate  of  a yen  and 
a half  each  per  day.  Instead  of  giving  the  money 
to  the  labourers  who  have  earned  it,  the  contractor 
hands  it  over  to  the  official,  who  steals  two-thirds 
of  it  and  gives  the  coolies  only  one-third.  When  the 
latter  refuse  to  work  any  longer  for  50  sen  a day, 
the  official  and  the  contractor  together  resort  to 
force. 

“ The  above  are  only  samples  of  hundreds  of  cases 
in  which  the  conflicting  rights  or  interests  of  Koreans 
and  Japanese  fail  of  settlement  for  lack  of  adequate 
judicial  machinery.  The  Japanese  immigrants  are 
not  subject  to  the  jurisdiction  of  Korean  courts,  and 
the  Koreans  cannot  get  justice  in  the  Japanese  con- 
sular courts,  for  the  reason,  principally,  that  the  latter 
are  swamped  with  business.  In  all  Korea  I have  no 
doubt  that  there  are  a thousand  disputes  or  quarrels 
between  Koreans  and  Japanese  every  month;  and  it 
is  utterly  impossible  for  half  a dozen  consuls  to 
investigate  such  a number  of  cases,  or  even  to  listen 
to  the  complaints  of  the  injured  parties.  The  result 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  127 


is  universal  miscarriage  of  justice  and  a steadily 
growing  anti-Japanese  feeling  throughout  the  penin- 
sula. . . . 

“ But  it  is  not  of  the  Japanese  immigrants  alone 
that  the  Koreans  complain.  They  assert,  and  un- 
doubtedly believe,  that  they  are  often  treated  unfairly 
by  the  Japanese  authorities.  Take,  for  example,  the 
disputes  and  grievances  growing  out  of  the  expro- 
priation of  land  and  the  employment  of  Korean 
coolies  by  Japanese  railway  companies.  These 
corporations,  or  their  employees,  have  frequently 
made  payments  for  land  and  labour,  not  to  the 
landowners  and  labourers,  but  to  the  Korean  Govern- 
ment or  its  officials,  and  have  trusted  the  latter  to 
distribute  the  money  equitably  among  the  persons 
entitled  to  it.  In  many,  if  not  in  most,  cases  such 
distribution  has  not  been  properly  or  honestly  made, 
and  many  Koreans  consequently  have  been  left 
without  reimbursement  for  land  taken  and  without 
the  stipulated  wages  for  labour  performed.  They 
naturally  throw  the  blame  for  this  state  of  affairs 
upon  the  Japanese  authorities,  who,  they  think, 
should  either  have  supervised  the  action  of  the 
Korean  officials  or  have  compelled  the  railway  com- 
panies to  make  direct  payment  to  the  coolies  whom 
they  hired  and  the  farmers  whose  land  they  seized. 
Laying  aside  the  question  of  equity,  there  can  be  no 
doubt,  I think,  that,  as  a mere  matter  of  policy,  the 
Japanese  authorities  should  have  made  sure  in  every 
case  that  the  Koreans  actually  received  the  money 
which  the  corporations  paid.  They  were  well  aware 
of  the  incapacity  and  corruption  of  the  Korean 


128 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


administration,  and  they  made,  to  say  the  least,  a 
serious  mistake  in  judgment  when  they  allowed 
Korean  officials  to  act  as  middlemen  between 
Japanese  corporations  on  one  side  and  the  Korean 
people  on  the  other.  Such  a course  was  sure  to  lead 
to  dissatisfaction  and  trouble. 

“ Take,  for  an  example  of  another  kind,  the  staking 
out  by  the  Japanese  military  authorities  of  a large 
area  of  occupied  and  cultivated  land  in  the  suburbs 
of  Seoul.  The  Koreans  believe  that  the  Japanese, 
in  the  exercise  of  the  right  of  eminent  domain,  intend 
to  seize  all  this  land  and  evict  the  owners,  without 
giving  the  latter  adequate  compensation  for  their 
houses  and  farms  ; and  they  protest  against  such 
injustice.  I am  assured,  by  an  official  who  ought 
to  be  well  informed,  that  the  stakes  and  flags,  which 
I myself  saw,  and  which  seemed  to  me  to  cover 
several  square  miles  of  inhabited  and  cultivated  terri- 
tory, were  not  intended  to  mark  out  the  boundaries 
of  a contemplated  land-seizure,  but  were  put  up  by 
Japanese  military  engineers  in  the  working  out  of  a 
strategic  plan  of  defence.  I hope  and  trust  that  such 
may  be  the  case ; but  even  if  this  statement  be 
accepted,  it  is  extremely  impolitic  on  the  part  of 
the  Japanese  to  allow  a storm  of  alarm,  indignation, 
and  protest  to  be  raised  over  a matter  which  might 
be  settled  by  a few  words  of  explanation.  The  anti- 
Japanese  agitation  in  Korea  is  already  threatening 
and  serious — why  increase  the  trouble  by  permitting 
the  Korean  people  to  think  that  the  suburban  resi- 
dents of  Seoul  are  virtually  to  be  robbed  of  territory 
which  certainly  covers  three  or  four  square  miles  and 


BEGINNING  OF  THE  NEW  ERA  129 


is  said  to  contain  more  than  i,ioo  houses?  If,  on 
the  other  hand,  the  military  authorities  really  intend 
to  take  possession  of  the  land  covered  by  the  flags 
and  stakes  which  I saw — if  they  propose  to  evict 
hundreds  of  families  from  their  houses  and  farms 
and  leave  them  to  get  compensation  from  their  own 
Government  of  extortioners  and  robbers — such  action 
will  be  not  only  recklessly  imprudent,  but  in  the 
highest  degree  unjust.”  1 

' Mr.  Kennan  here  presumably  refers  to  the  district  from 
which  the  native  Koreans  have  since  been  completely  evicted 
by  the  Japanese. 


10 


CHAPTER  XI 


TREATY-MAKING  AND  TREATY-BREAKING 
S the  summer  of  1905  drew  to  a close,  it  became 


more  and  more  clear  that  the  Japanese 
Government,  despite  its  many  promises  to  the  con- 
trary, intended  completely  to  destroy  the  independ- 
ence of  Korea.  Even  the  Court  officials  were  at 
last  seriously  alarmed,  and  set  about  devising  means 
to  protect  themselves.  The  Emperor  had  thought 
that  because  Korean  independence  was  provided  for 
in  treaty  after  treaty  with  the  Great  Powers,  therefore 
he  was  safe.  He  had  yet  to  learn  that  treaty  rights, 
unbacked  by  power,  are  worth  little  more  than  the 
paper  they  are  written  upon.  In  particular,  he 
trusted  to  a definite  guarantee  given  by  the  American 
Government.  In  the  treaty  of  1882  it  was  provided 
that  if  other  Powers  dealt  unjustly  or  oppressively 
with  Korea,  America  would  exert  her  good  offices 
to  bring  about  an  amicable  arrangement.  A semi- 
I official  messenger,  Professor  Hulbert,  an  American 
educationalist  in  the  employment  of  the  Korean 
Government,  was  dispatched  to  Washington  with  a 
letter  from  the  Emperor,  calling  attention  to  the 
great  evils  Japan  was  inflicting  upon  Korea,  and 


TREATY-MAKING 


131 

asking  for  American  aid.  The  Japanese  allowed 
Professor  Hulbert  to  leave  unhindered,  but  before 
he  could  present  his  letter  to  the  Foreign  Office  at 
Washington,  the  old  Korean  Government  was  already 
overthrown.  Professor  Hulbert  met  with  a very 
cold  reception  in  Washington,  for  the  Japanese 
prestige  was  then  at  its  greatest.  “ What  do  you 
expect  us  to  do  ? ” senators  asked  him,  when  he  told 
them  of  what  was  happening.  “ Do  you  really 
believe  that  America  ought  to  go  to  war  with  Japan 
over  Korea  ? ” So  far  from  pleading  the  case  of 
Korea  with  Japan,  America  was  the  first  to  fall  in 
with  and  give  its  open  assent  to  the  destruction  of 
the  old  administration.  On  the  first  intimation  from 
Japan  it  agreed,  without  inquiry  and  with  almost 
indecent  haste,  to  withdraw  its  Minister  from  Seoul. 

Early  in  November  the  Marquis  Ito  arrived  in 
Seoul  as  Special  Envoy  from  the  Emperor  of  Japan, 
and  he  brought  with  him  a letter  from  the  Mikado, 
saying  that  he  hoped  the  Korean  Emperor  would 
follow  the  directions  of  the  Marquis,  and  come  to 
an  agreement  with  him,  as  it  was  essential  for  the 
maintenance  of  peace  in  the  Far  East  that  he  should 
do  so.  On  November  15th  Marquis  Ito  was  received 
in  formal  audience,  and  there  presented  a series  of 
demands,  drawn  up  in  treaty  form.  These  were,  in 
the  main,  that  the  foreign  relations  of  Korea  should 
now  be  placed  entirely  in  the  hands  of  Japan,  the 
Korean  diplomatic  service  be  brought  to  an  end, 
and  the  Ministers  recalled  from  foreign  Courts.  The 
Japanese  Minister  to  Korea  was  to  become  supreme 
administrator  to  the  country  under  the  Emperor, 


132 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


and  the  Japanese  Consuls  in  the  different  districts 
were  to  be  made  Residents,  with  the  powers  of 
supreme  local  governors.  In  other  words,  Korea 
was  entirely  to  surrender  her  independence  as  a 
State,  and  was  to  hand  over  control  of  her  internal 
administration  to  the  Japanese.  The  Emperor  met 
the  request  with  a blank  refusal.  The  conversation 
between  the  two,  as  reported  at  the  time,  was  as 
follows. 

The  Emperor  said — 

“ Although  I have  seen  in  the  newspapers  various 
rumours  that  Japan  proposed  to  assume  a protecto- 
rate over  Korea,  I did  not  believe  them,  as  I placed 
faith  in  Japan’s  adherence  to  the  promise  to  main- 
tain the  independence  of  Korea  which  was  made  by 
the  Emperor  of  Japan  at  the  beginning  of  the  war 
and  embodied  in  a treaty  between  Korea  and  Japan. 
When  I heard  you  were  coming  to  my  country  I 
was  glad,  as  I believed  your  mission  was  to  increase 
the  friendship  between  our  countries,  and  your 
demands  have  therefore  taken  me  entirely  by 
surprise.” 

To  which  Marquis  Ito  rejoined — 

“ These  demands  are  not  my  own  ; I am  only 
acting  in  accordance  with  a mandate  from  my 
Government,  and  if  Your  Majesty  will  agree  to  the 
demands  which  I have  presented  it  will  be  to  the 
benefit  of  both  nations  and  peace  in  the  East  will  be 
assured  for  ever.  Please,  therefore,  consent  quickly.” 

The  Emperor  replied — 

“ From  time  immemorial  it  has  been  the  custom 
of  the  rulers  of  Korea,  when  confronted  with 


TREATY-MAKING 


133 


questions  so  momentous  as  this,  to  come  to  no 
decision  until  all  the  Ministers,  high  and  low,  who 
hold  or  have  held  office,  have  been  consulted,  and 
the  opinion  of  the  scholars  and  the  common  people 
have  been  obtained,  so  that  I cannot  now  settle  this 
matter  myself.” 

Said  Marquis  I to  again — 

“ Protests  from  the  people  can  easily  be  disposed 
of,  and  for  the  sake  of  the  friendship  between  the  two 
countries  Your  Majesty  should  come  to  a decision 
at  once.” 

To  this  the  Emperor  replied — 

“ Assent  to  your  proposal  would  mean  the  ruin 
of  my  country,  and  I will  therefore  sooner  die  than 
agree  to  them,” 

The  conference  lasted  nearly  five  hours,  and  then 
the  Marquis  had  to  leave,  having  accomplished 
nothing.  He  at  once  tackled  the  members  of  the 
Cabinet,  individually  and  collectively.  They  were 
all  summoned  to  the  Japanese  Legation  on  the 
following  day,  and  a furious  debate  began,  starting 
at  three  o’clock  in  the  afternoon,  and  lasting  till  late 
at  night.  The  Ministers  had  sworn  to  one  another 
beforehand  that  they  would  not  yield.  In  spite  of 
threats,  cajoleries,  and  proffered  bribes,  they 
remained  steadfast.  The  arguments  used  by 
Marquis  Ito  and  Mr.  Hayashi,  apart  from  personal 
ones,  were  twofold.  The  first  was  that  it  was 
essential  for  the  peace  of  the  Far  East  that  Japan 
and  Korea  should  be  united.  The  second  appealed 
to  racial  ambition.  The  Japanese  painted  to  the 
Koreans  a picture  of  a great  united  East,  with  the 


134 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Mongol  nations  all  standing  firm  and  as  one  against 
the  white  man,  who  would  reduce  them  to  submission 
if  he  could.1  The  Japanese  were  determined  to  give 
the  Cabinet  no  time  to  regather  its  strength.  On  the 
17th  of  November,  another  conference  began  at  two 
in  the  afternoon  at  the  Legation,  but  equally  without 
result.  Mr.  Hayashi  then  advised  the  Ministers  to 
go  to  the  palace  and  open  a Cabinet  Meeting  in 
the  presence  of  the  Emperor.  This  was  done,  the 
Japanese  joining  in. 

All  this  time  the  Japanese  Army  had  been  making 
a great  display  of  military  force  around  the  palace. 
All  the  Japanese  troops  in  the  district  had  been  for 
days  parading  the  streets  and  open  places  fronting 
the  Imperial  residence.  The  field-guns  were  out, 
and  the  men  were  fully  armed.  They  marched, 
counter-marched,  stormed,  made  feint  attacks, 
occupied  the  gates,  put  their  guns  in  position,  and 
did  everything,  short  of  actual  violence,  that  they 
could  to  demonstrate  to  the  Koreans  that  they  were 
able  to  enforce  their  demands.  To  the  Cabinet 
Ministers  themselves,  and  to  the  Emperor,  all  this 
display  had  a sinister  and  terrible  meaning.  They 
could  not  forget  the  night  in  1895,  when  the 
Japanese  soldiers  had  paraded  around  another  palace, 

1 As  it  may  be  questioned  whether  the  Japanese  would  use 
such  arguments,  I may  say  that  the  account  of  the  interview 
was  given  to  me  by  one  of  the  participating  Korean  Ministers, 
and  that  he  dealt  at  great  length  with  the  pro-Asian  policy 
suggested  there.  I asked  him  why  he  had  not  listened  and 
accepted.  He  replied  that  he  knew  what  such  arguments 
meant.  The  unity  of  Asia  when  spoken  of  by  Japanese  meant 
the  supreme  autocracy  of  their  country. 


TREATY-MAKING 


135 


and  when  their  picked  bullies  had  forced  their  way 
inside  and  murdered  the  Queen.  Japan  had  done 
this  before ; why  should  she  not  do  it  again?  Not 
one  of  those  now  resisting  the  will  of  Dai  Nippon 
but  saw  the  sword  in  front  of  his  eyes,  and  heard 
in  imagination  a hundred  times  during  the  day  the 
rattle  of  the  Japanese  bullets. 

That  evening  Japanese  soldiers,  with  fixed  bayonets, 
entered  the  courtyard  of  the  palace  and  stood  near 
the  apartment  of  the  Emperor.  Marquis  Ito  now 
arrived,  accompanied  by  General  Hasegawa,  Com- 
mander of  the  Japanese  army  in  Korea,  and  a fresh 
attack  was  started  on  the  Cabinet  Ministers.  The 
Marquis  demanded  an  audience  of  the  Emperor. 
The  Emperor  refused  to  grant  it,  saying  that  his 
throat  was  very  bad,  and  he  was  in  great  pain.  The 
Marquis  then  made  his  way  into  the  Emperor’s 
presence,  and  personally  requested  an  audience. 
The  Emperor  still  refused.  “ Please  go  away  and 
discuss  the  matter  with  the  Cabinet  Ministers,”  he 
said. 

Thereupon  Marquis  Ito  went  outside  to  the 
Ministers.  “Your  Emperor  has  commanded  you  to 
confer  with  me  and  settle  this  matter,”  he  declared. 
A fresh  conference  was  opened.  The  presence  of 
the  soldiers,  the  gleaming  of  the  bayonets  outside,  the 
harsh  words  of  command  that  could  be  heard  through 
the  windows  of  the  palace  buildings,  were  not  without 
their  effect.  The  Ministers  had  fought  for  days 
and  they  had  fought  alone.  No  single  foreign 
representative  had  offered  them  help  or  counsel. 
They  saw  submission  or  destruction  before  them. 


136  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


“ What  is  the  use  of  our  resisting?  ” said  one.  “The 
Japanese  always  get  their  way  in  the  end.”  Signs 
of  yielding  began  to  appear.  The  acting  Prime 
Minister,  Han  Kew  Sul,  jumped  to  his  feet  and  said 
he  would  go  and  tell  the  Emperor  of  the  talk  of 
traitors.  Han  Kew  Sul  was  allowed  to  leave  the 
room  and  then  was  gripped  by  the  Japanese  Secretary 
of  the  Legation,  thrown  into  a side-room  and 
threatened  with  death.  Even  Marquis  Ito  went  out 
to  him  to  persuade  him.  “ Would  you  not  yield,” 
the  Marquis  said,  “ if  your  Emperor  commanded 
you  ? ” “ No,”  said  Han  Kew  Sul,  “ not  even  then  ! ” 

This  was  enough.  The  Marquis  at  once  went  to 
the  Emperor.  “ Han  Kew  Sul  is  a traitor,”  he  said. 
“ He  defies  you,  and  declares  that  he  will  not  obey 
your  commands.” 

Meanwhile  the  remaining  Ministers  waited  in  the 
Cabinet  Chamber.  Where  was  their  leader,  the  man 
who  had  urged  them  all  to  resist  to  death  ? Minute 
after  minute  passed,  and  still  he  did  not  return. 
Then  a whisper  went  round  that  the  Japanese  had 
killed  him.  The  harsh  voices  of  the  Japanese  grew 
still  more  strident.  Courtesy  and  restraint  were 
thrown  off.  “ Agree  with  us  and  be  rich,  or  oppose 
us  and  perish.”  Pak  Che  Sun,  the  Foreign  Minister, 
one  of  the  best  and  most  capable  of  Korean  states- 
men, was  the  last  to  yield.  But  even  he  finally  gave 
way.  In  the  early  hours  of  the  morning  commands 
were  issued  that  the  seal  of  State  should  be  brought 
from  the  Foreign  Minister’s  apartment,  and  a treaty 
should  be  signed.  Here  another  difficulty  arose. 
The  custodian  of  the  seal  had  received  orders  in 


TREATY-MAKING 


137 


advance  that,  even  if  his  master  commanded, 
the  seal  was  not  to  be  surrendered  for  any  such 
purpose.  When  telephonic  orders  were  sent  to  him, 
he  refused  to  bring  the  seal  along,  and  special 
messengers  had  to  be  dispatched  to  take  it  from 
him  by  force.  The  Emperor  himself  asserts  to 
this  day  that  he  did  not  consent. 

The  news  of  the  signing  of  the  treaty  was  received 
by  the  people  with  horror  and  indignation.  Han 
Kew  Sul,  once  he  escaped  from  custody,  turned 
on  his  fellow-Ministers  as  one  distraught,  and 
bitterly  reproached  them.  “ Why  have  you  broken 
your  promises  ? ” he  cried.  “ Why  have  you  broken 
your  promises  ? ” The  Ministers  found  themselves 
the  most  hated  and  despised  of  men.  There 
was  danger  lest  mobs  should  attack  them  and  tear 
them  to  pieces.  Pak  Che  Sun  shrank  away  under 
the  storm  of  execration  that  greeted  him.  On 
December  6th,  as  he  was  entering  the  palace,  one 
of  the  soldiers  lifted  his  rifle  and  tried  to  shoot 
him.  Pak  Che  Sun  turned  back,  and  hurried  to  the 
Japanese  Legation.  There  he  forced  his  way  into 
the  presence  of  Mr.  Hayashi,  and  drew  a knife. 
“It  is  you  who  have  brought  me  to  this,”  he  cried. 
“You  have  made  me  a traitor  to  my  country.”  He 
attempted  to  cut  his  own  throat,  but  Mr.  Hayashi 
stopped  him,  and  he  was  sent  to  hospital  for 
treatment.  When  he  recovered  he  was  chosen  by 
the  Japanese  as  the  new  Prime  Minister,  Han  Kew 
Sul  being  exiled  and  disgraced.  Pak  did  not,  how- 
ever, hold  office  for  very  long,  being  somewhat  too 
independent  to  suit  his  new  masters. 


138  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


As  the  news  spread  through  the  country,  the 
people  of  various  districts  assembled,  particularly 
in  the  north,  and  started  to  march  southwards  to 
die  in  front  of  the  palace  as  a protest.  Thanks  to 
the  influence  of  the  missionaries,  many  of  them  were 
stopped.  “ It  is  of  no  use  your  dying  in  that  way,” 
the  missionaries  told  them.  “You  had  better  live 
and  make  your  country  better  able  to  hold  its 
own.”  A number  of  leading  officials,  including  all 
the  surviving  past  Prime  Ministers,  and  over  a 
hundred  men  who  had  previously  held  high  office 
under  the  Crown,  went  to  the  palace,  and  demanded 
that  the  Emperor  should  openly  repudiate  the 
treaty,  and  execute  those  Ministers  who  had 
acquiesced  in  it.  The  Emperor  tried  to  temporise 
with  them,  for  he  was  afraid  that,  if  he  took  too 
openly  hostile  an  attitude,  the  Japanese  would  punish 
him.  The  memorialists  sat  down  in  the  palace 
buildings,  refusing  to  move,  and  demanding  an  answer. 
Some  of  their  leaders  were  arrested  by  the  Japanese 
gendarmes,  only  to  have  others,  still  greater  men, 
take  their  place.  The  store-keepers  of  the  city  put 
up  their  shutters  to  mark  their  mourning. 

At  last  a message  came  from  the  Emperor : 
“ Although  affairs  now  appear  to  you  to  be  dangerous, 
there  may  presently  result  some  benefit  to  the 
nation.”  The  gendarmes  descended  on  the  peti- 
tioners and  threatened  them  with  general  arrest  if 
they  remained  around  the  palace  any  longer.  They 
moved  on  to  a shop  where  they  tried  to  hold  a 
meeting,  but  they  were  turned  out  of  it  by  the 
police.  Min  Yong  Whan,  their  leader,  a former 


TREATY-MAKING 


139 


Minister  for  War  and  Special  Korean  Ambassador 
at  Queen  Victoria’s  Diamond  Jubilee,  went  home. 
He  wrote  letters  to  his  friends  lamenting  the  state 
of  his  country,  and  then  committed  suicide.  Several 
other  statesmen  did  the  same,  while  many  others 
resigned.  One  native  paper,  the  Whang  Sung 
Shimbun , dared  to  print  an  exact  statement  of  what 
had  taken  place.  Its  editor  was  promptly  arrested, 
and  thrown  into  prison,  and  the  paper  suppressed. 
Its  lamentation  voiced  the  feeling  of  the  country  : — 

“ When  it  was  recently  made  known  the  Marquis 
Ito  would  come  to  Korea  our  deluded  people  all 
said,  with  one  voice,  that  he  is  the  man  who  will 
be  responsible  for  the  maintenance  of  friendship 
between  the  three  countries  of  the  Far  East  (Japan, 
China,  and  Korea),  and,  believing  that  his  visit  to 
Korea  was  for  the  sole  purpose  of  devising  good 
plans  for  strictly  maintaining  the  promised  integrity 
and  independence  of  Korea,  our  people,  from  the 
sea-coast  to  the  capital,  united  in  extending  to 
him  a hearty  welcome. 

“ But  oh  ! How  difficult  is  it  to  anticipate  affairs 
in  this  world.  Without  warning,  a proposal  contain- 
ing five  clauses  was  laid  before  the  Emperor,  and 
we  then  saw  how  mistaken  we  were  about  the 
object  of  Marquis  Ito’s  visit.  However,  the  Emperor 
firmly  refused  to  have  anything  to  do  with  these 
proposals  and  Marquis  Ito  should  then,  properly, 
have  abandoned  his  attempt  and  returned  to  his 
own  country. 

“ But  the  Ministers  of  our  Government,  who  are 
worse  than  pigs  or  dogs,  coveting  honours  and 


140 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


advantages  for  themselves,  and  frightened  by  empty 
threats,  were  trembling  in  every  limb,  and  were 
willing  to  become  traitors  to  their  country  and 
betray  to  Japan  the  integrity  of  a nation  which  has 
stood  for  4,000  years,  the  foundation  and  honour  of  a 
dynasty  500  years  old,  and  the  rights  and  freedom  of 
twenty  million  people. 

“ We  do  not  wish  to  too  deeply  blame  Pak  Che 
Sun  and  the  other  Ministers,  of  whom,  as  they  are 
little  better  than  brute  animals,  too  much  was 
not  to  be  expected,  but  what  can  be  said  of  the 
Vice-Prime  Minister,  the  chief  of  the  Cabinet,  whose 
early  opposition  to  the  proposals  of  Marquis  Ito 
was  an  empty  form  devised  to  enhance  his  reputa- 
tion with  the  people  ? 

“ Can  he  not  now  repudiate  the  agreement  or 
can  he  not  rid  the  world  of  his  presence  ? How  can 
he  again  stand  before  the  Emperor  and  with  what 
face  can  he  ever  look  upon  any  one  of  his  twenty 
million  compatriots  ? 

“ Is  it  worth  while  for  any  of  us  to  live  any 
longer?  Our  people  have  become  the  slaves  of 
others,  and  the  spirit  of  a nation  which  has  stood 
for  4,000  years,  since  the  days  of  Tun  Kun  and  Ke-ja 
has  perished  in  a single  night.  Alas  ! fellow-country- 
men. Alas ! ” 

Suicides,  resignations,  and  lamentation  were  of 
no  avail.  The  Japanese  gendarmes  commanded  the 
streets,  and  the  Japanese  soldiers,  behind  them,  were 
ready  to  back  up  their  will  by  the  most  unanswer- 
able of  arguments — force. 

Naturally,  as  might  have  been  expected  by  those 


TREATY-MAKING 


141 

who  know  something  of  the  character  of  the 
Japanese,  every  effort  was  made  to  show  that  there 
had  been  no  breach  of  treaty  promises.  Korea  was 
still  an  independent  country,  and  the  dignity  of 
its  Imperial  house  was  still  unimpaired.  Japan  had 
only  brought  a little  friendly  pressure  on  a weaker 
brother  to  assist  him  along  the  path  of  progress. 
Such  talk  pleased  the  Japanese,  and  helped  them 
to  reconcile  the  contrast  between  their  solemn 
promises  and  their  actions.  It  deceived  no  one 
else.  To-day  even,  the  Japanese  papers  make  little 
or  no  more  talk  of  Korean  independence.  “ Korean 
independence  is  a farce,”  they  say.  They  say  it 
rightly. 


CHAPTER  XII 


THE  RULE  OF  PRINCE  ITO 

MARQUIS  ITO  was  made  the  first  Japanese 
Resident-General  in  Korea.  There  could 
have  been  no  better  choice,  and  no  choice  more 
pleasing  to  the  Korean  people.  It  is  noteworthy 
that,  although  the  Marquis  has  been  the  main  repre- 
sentative of  the  Mikado  in  wresting  its  indepen- 
dence from  Korea,  he  is  yet  regarded  by  the 
responsible  men  there  with  a friendliness  such  as 
few  other  Japanese  inspire.  Every  one  who  comes 
in  contact  with  him  feels  that,  whatever  the  nature 
of  the  measures  he  is  driven  to  adopt  because  of 
Imperial  policy,  he  yet  sincerely  means  well  by  the 
Korean  people.  The  faults  of  his  administration 
may  be  the  necessary  accompaniments  of  Japanese 
Imperial  expansion,  but  his  virtues  are  his  own.  It 
was  a noble  act  for  him  to  take  on  himself  the  most 
burdensome  and  exacting  post  that  Japanese  diplo- 
macy had  to  offer,  at  a time  when  he  might  well  look 
for  the  ease  and  dignity  of  the  close  of  an  honour- 
sated  career. 

The  Marquis  brought  with  him  several  very  capable 
Japanese  officials  of  high  rank,  and  began  his  new 

142 


PKINCE  ITO. 


THE  RULE  OF  PRINCE  ITO 


H3 


rule  by  issuing  regulations  fixing  the  position  and 
duties  of  his  staff.  Under  these,  the  Resident- 
General  became  in  effect  supreme  Administrator  of 
Korea,  with  power  to  do  what  he  pleased.  He  had 
authority  to  repeal  any  order  or  measure  that  he  con- 
sidered injurious  to  public  interests,  and  he  could 
punish  to  the  extent  of  not  more  than  a year’s  im- 
prisonment or  not  more  than  a 200  yen  fine.  This 
limitation  of  his  punitive  power  was  purely  nominal, 
for  the  country  was  under  martial  law  and  the  courts- 
martial  had  power  to  inflict  death.  Residents  and 
Vice-Residents,  of  Japanese  nationality,  were  placed 
over  the  country,  acting  practically  as  governors. 
The  police  were  placed  under  Japanese  inspectors 
where  they  were  not  themselves  Japanese.  The 
various  departments  of  affairs,  agricultural,  com- 
mercial, and  industrial,  were  given  Japanese  directors 
and  advisers,  and  the  power  of  appointing  all  officials, 
save  those  of  the  highest  rank,  was  finally  in  the  hands 
of  the  Resident-General.  This  limitation,  again,  was 
soon  put  on  one  side.  Thus,  the  Resident-General 
became  dictator  of  Korea — a dictator,  however,  who 
still  conducted  certain  branches  of  local  affairs  there 
through  native  officials  and  who  had  to  reckon  with 
the  intrigues  of  a Court  party  which  he  could  not  as 
yet  sweep  on  one  side. 

To  Japan,  Korea  is  chiefly  of  importance  as  a 
strategic  position  for  military  operations  on  the 
continent  of  Asia  and  as  a field  for  emigration.  The 
first  steps  under  the  new  administration  were  in  the 
direction  of  perfecting  communications  throughout 
the  country,  so  as  to  enable  the  troops  to  be  moved 


144 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


easily  and  rapidly  from  point  to  point.  A railway 
had  already  been  built  from  Fusan  to  Seoul,  and 
another  was  in  course  of  completion  from  Seoul  to 
Wi-ju,  thus  giving  a trunk  line  that  would  carry  large 
numbers  of  Japanese  soldiers  from  Japan  itself  to  the 
borders  of  Manchuria  in  about  thirty-six  hours.  A 
loan  of  10,000,000  yen  was  raised  on  the  guarantee 
of  the  Korean  Customs,  and  a million  and  a half  of 
this  was  spent  on  four  main  military  roads,  connect- 
ing some  of  the  chief  districts  with  the  principal 
harbours  and  railway  centres.  Part  of  the  cost  of 
these  was  paid  by  the  loan  and  part  by  special  local 
taxation.  It  may  be  pointed  out  that  these  roads 
are  military  rather  than  industrial  undertakings.  The 
usual  methods  of  travel  and  for  conveying  goods  in 
the  interior  of  Korea  is  by  horseback  and  with  pack- 
ponies.  For  these,  the  old  narrow  tracks  served, 
generally  speaking,  very  well.  The  new  roads  are 
finely  graded,  and  are  built  in  such  a manner  that 
rails  can  be  quickly  laid  down  on  them  and  artillery 
and  ammunition  wagons  rapidly  conveyed  from 
point  to  point.  Another  railway  has  been  pushed 
forward,  and  is  now  nearing  completion,  from  Seoul 
to  Gensan,  on  the  east  coast. 

The  old  Korean  “ Burglar  Capture  Office,”  the 
native  equivalent  to  the  Bow  Street  Runners,  was 
abolished,  as  were  the  local  police,  and  poltce 
administration  was  more  and  more  put  in  the  hands 
of  special  constables  brought  over  from  Japan.  The 
Japanese  military  gendarmerie  were  gradually  sent 
back  and  their  places  taken  by  civilian  constables. 
This  change  was  wholly  for  the  good.  The  gen- 


THE  RULE  OF  PRINCE  ITO 


145 


darmerie  had  earned  a very  bad  reputation  in  country 
parts  for  harshness  and  arbitrary  conduct.  The 
civilian  police  proved  themselves  far  better  men,  more 
conciliatory,  and  more  just.  The  one  complaint  that 
may  be  made  about  this  change  is  that  it  has  not 
gone  far  enough.  In  dealing  with  improved  police 
administration  I would,  however,  except  the  methods 
of  treating  political  offenders  in  Seoul  itself.  I heard, 
even  as  late  as  the  autumn  of  1907,  amazing  and 
incredible  stories  of  what  is  being  done  to  these.  I 
have  been  unable  to  get  positive  proof,  either  affirma- 
tively or  otherwise,  and  can  consequently  only  say 
that  Seoul  must  be  left  out  of  my  references. 

One  real  improvement  instituted  by  the  Residency- 
General  was  the  closer  control  of  Japanese  immi- 
grants. Numbers  of  the  worst  offenders  were  laid  by 
the  heels  and  sent  back  home.  The  Residency 
officials  were  increased  in  numbers,  and  in  some  parts 
at  least  it  became  easier  for  a Korean  to  obtain  a 
a hearing  when  he  had  a complaint  against  a 
Japanese.  The  Marquis  I to  spoke  constantly  in 
favour  of  a policy  of  conciliation  and  friendship,  and 
after  a time  he  succeeded  in  winning  over  the  co- 
operation of  some  of  the  foreigners. 

It  became  more  and  more  clear,  however,  that  the 
aim  of  the  Japanese  was  nothing  else  than  the  entire 
absorption  of  the  country  and  the  destruction  of 
every  trace  of  Korean  nationality.  One  of  the  most 
influential  Japanese  in  Korea  put  this  quite  frankly 
to  me.  “You  must  understand  that  I am  not 
expressing  official  views,”  he  told  me.  “ But  if  you 
ask  me  as  an  individual  what  is  to  be  the  outcome 


1 1 


146  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


of  our  policy,  I can  only  see  one  end.  This  will  take 
several  generations,  but  it  must  come.  The  Korean 
people  will  be  absorbed  in  the  Japanese.  They  will 
talk  our  language,  live  our  life,  and  be  an  integral 
part  of  us.  There  are  only  two  ways  of  colonial 
administration.  One  is  to  rule  over  the  people  as 
aliens.  This  you  English  have  done  in  India,  and, 
therefore,  your  Indian  Empire  cannot  endure.  India 
must  pass  out  of  your  rule.  The  second  way  is  to 
absorb  the  people.  This  is  what  we  will  do.  We  will 
teach  them  our  language,  establish  our  institutions, 
and  make  them  one  with  us.”  That  is  the  benevolent 
Japanese  plan ; the  cruder  idea,  more  commonly 
entertained,  is  to  absorb  the  Korean  lands,  place  all 
the  industry  of  the  country  in  Japanese  hands,  and 
reduce  the  natives  to  the  place  of  hewers  of  wood  and 
drawers  of  water  for  their  triumphant  conquerors. 
The  Japanese  believes  that  the  Korean  is  on  a wholly 
different  level  to  himself,  a coward,  a weakling,  and 
a poltroon.  He  despises  him,  and  treats  him 
accordingly. 

The  great  complaint  against  the  Japanese  officials 
in  Korea  is  that  they  uniformly  look  at  matters  from 
a Japanese  and  not  a Korean  point  of  view.  There 
is  a wholesale  system  of  exploitation  that  touches 
every  side  of  Korean  life.  Concessions  are  granted 
to  Japanese,  contracts  are  given  on  the  most  generous 
terms  to  Japanese,  and  emigration  laws,  land  laws, 
and  general  administrative  measures  are  made  solely 
with  regard  to  Japanese  interests.  When  a loan  of 
10,000,000  yen  was  raised  for  national  improvements, 
the  money  was  obtained  from  the  Nippon  Kogyo 


THE  RULE  OF  PRINCE  ITO 


147 


Ginko  at  an  issuing  price  of  go  yen  per  100  yen  bond 
and  bearing  interest  at  6J  per  cent.,  the  Customs 
Revenue  being  given  as  security.  Such  terms  are 
outrageous.  A chance  paragraph  in  the  Japan  Times 
informs  us  that  “ the  Korean  Government  has  to 
pay  250,000  yen  to  our  postal  authorities  for  their 
trouble  in  doing  part  of  the  internal  revenue  work.” 
In  other  words,  the  Japanese  first  seize  the  Korean 
Post  Office,  turn  the  old  Korean  employes  out, 
officer  it  with  their  own  people,  give  a service 
that  is  not  so  good  as  the  old,  and  then  mulct 
the  Korean  nation  of  a heavy  annual  fine  for  their 
trouble.  The  town  of  Chemulpho  is  almost  wholly 
a Japanese  settlement,  and  the  question  of  water 
supply  there  is  a difficult  one.  The  Residency- 
General  kindly  consented  to  spend  2,300,000  yen  of 
the  national  loan  in  laying  down  waterworks  for  this 
port.  That  is  to  say,  the  Korean  people  all  over  the 
land  were  made  to  pay  for  the  water  supply  of  the 
Japanese  town.  I might  go  on  with  very  many 
similar  instances,  great  and  small.  There  is  a 
systematic  plan  of  greedy  exploitation. 

The  policy  of  the  new  administration  towards 
foreigners  has  been  one  of  gradual,  but  no  less  sure, 
exclusion.  I deal  with  the  results  of  Japanese  ad- 
ministration upon  trade  in  a later  chapter.  Every- 
thing that  is  possible  has  been  done  to  rob  the  white 
man  of  whatever  prestige  is  yet  left  to  him.  The 
most  influential  white  men  in  Korea  are  the  mission- 
aries, and  they  have  a large,  enthusiastic,  and 
growing  following.  Careful  and  deliberate  attempts 
have  been  engineered  to  induce  their  converts  to  turn 


14S  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


from  the  lead  of  the  English  and  American  teachers 
and  to  throw  in  their  lot  with  the  Japanese.  The 
native  Press,  under  Japanese  editorship,  syste- 
matically preaches  anti-white  doctrines.  Any  one 
who  mixes  freely  with  the  Korean  people  hears  from 
them,  time  after  time,  of  the  principles  the  Japanese 
would  fain  have  them  learn.  I have  been  told  of 
this  by  ex-Cabinet  Ministers,  by  young  students,  and 
even  by  native  servants.  One  of  my  own  Korean 
“ boys  ” put  the  matter  in  a nutshell  to  me  one  day. 
He  raised  the  question  of  the  future  of  Japan  in 
Asia,  and  he  summarised  the  new  Japanese  doctrines 
very  succinctly.  “ Master,”  he  said  to  me,  “ Japanese 
man  wanchee  all  Asia  be  one,  with  Japanese  man  top- 
side. All  Japanese  man  wanchee  this  ; some  Korean 
man  wanchee,  most  no  wanchee ; all  Chinaman  no 
wanchee.” 

It  may  be  thought  that  the  Japanese  would  at  least 
have  learnt  from  their  experience  in  1895  not  to 
attempt  to  interfere  with  the  dress  or  personal  habits 
of  the  people.  Nothing  among  all  their  blunders 
during  the  earlier  period  was  more  disastrous  to  them 
than  the  regulations  compelling  the  men  to  cut  off  their 
top-knots.  These  did  Japan  greater  harm  among  the 
common  people  than  even  the  murder  of  the  Queen. 
Yet  no  sooner  had  Japan  established  herself  again 
than  once  more  sumptuary  regulations  were  issued. 
The  first  was  an  order  against  wearing  white 
dress  in  winter-time.  People  were  to  attire  them- 
selves in  nothing  but  dark-coloured  garments,  and 
those  who  refused  to  obey  were  coerced  in  many  ways. 
The  Japanese  did  not  at  once  insist  on  a general 


THE  RULE  OF  PRINCE  ITO 


149 


system  of  hair-cutting,  but  they  have  been  bringing 
the  greatest  pressure  to  bear  on  all  in  any  way 
under  their  authority.  Court  officials,  public  servants, 
magistrates,  and  the  like,  have  all  been  commanded 
to  cut  their  hair.  Officials  are  evidently  instructed 
to  make  every  one  who  comes  under  their  influence 
have  his  top-knot  off.  The  II  Chin  Hoi,  the  pro- 
Japanese  society,  has  followed  in  the  same  line. 
European  dress  is  being  forced  on  those  connected 
with  the  Court.  The  national  costume,  like  the 
national  language,  is,  if  possible,  to  die.  Ladies  of 
the  Court  are  ordered  to  dress  themselves  in  foreign 
style.  The  poor  ladies  in  consequence  find  it  im- 
possible to  show  themselves  in  any  public  place,  for 
they  are  greeted  with  roars  of  derision. 

One  would  imagine  that  the  Japanese  sense  of 
humour  would  stop  them  from  acting  so.  But 
then  they  are  anything  but  a humorous  people. 
Officials  who  are  dignified  and  imposing  in  their 
old  costumes,  present  the  most  comic  of  spectacles 
in  the  new.  Some  of  the  leaders  of  the  II  Chin  Hoi, 
known  to  me,  look  like  nothing  so  much  as  a mad- 
man’s copy  of  the  most  fantastic  costume  cartoons  in 
Punch.  The  mistake  of  the  Japanese  is  perhaps  a 
natural  one.  They  made  their  own  people  alter  their 
ways  in  a hurry,  and  they  fancy  that  other  races 
should  hasten  and  do  likewise. 

The  lowered  status  of  the  white  in  Korea  can  be 
clearly  seen  by  the  attitude  of  many  of  the  Japanese 
towards  him.  I have  heard  stories  from  friends  of 
my  own,  residents  in  the  country,  quiet  and  in- 
offensive people  that  have  made  my  blood  boil.  It 


ISO  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


is  difficult,  for  instance,  to  restrain  one’s  indignation 
when  a missionary  lady  tells  you  of  how  she  was 
walking  along  the  street  when  a Japanese  soldier 
hustled  up  against  her  and  deliberately  struck  her 
in  the  breast.  The  Roman  Catholic  bishop  was 
openly  insulted  and  struck  by  Japanese  soldiers  in 
his  own  cathedral,  and  nothing  was  done.  The 
story  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Weigall  typifies  others. 
Mr.  Weigall  is  an  Australian  mining  engineer,  and 
was  travelling  up  north  with  his  wife  and  assis- 
tant, Mr.  Taylor,  and  some  Korean  servants,  in 
December,  1905.  He  had  full  authorisations  and 
passports,  and  was  going  about  his  business  in  a 
perfectly  proper  manner.  His  party  was  stopped  at 
one  point  by  some  Japanese  soldiers,  and  treated  in 
a fashion  which  it  is  impossible  fully  to  describe  in 
print.  They  were  insulted,  jabbed  at  with  bayonets, 
and  put  under  arrest.  One  soldier  held  his  gun  close 
to  Mrs.  Weigall  and  struck  her  full  in  the  chest  with 
his  closed  fist  when  she  moved.  The  man  called 
them  by  the  most  insulting  names  possible,  keeping 
the  choicest  phrases  for  the  lady.  Their  servants 
were  kicked.  Finally  they  were  allowed  to  go  away 
after  a long  delay  and  long  exposure  to  bitter 
weather,  repeated  insults  being  hurled  after  them. 
The  British  authorities  took  up  this  case.  There  was 
abundant  evidence,  and  there  could  be  no  dispute 
about  the  facts.  All  the  satisfaction,  however,  that 
the  Weigalls  could  obtain  was  a nominal  apology. 

Then  there  was  the  case  of  the  Rev.  Mr.  McRae, 
a Canadian  missionary  living  in  north-eastern  Korea. 
Mr.  McRae  had  obtained  some  land  for  a mission 


Photograph  by] 


[F,  A.  McKenzie. 


A JAPANESE  RAILWAY  GUARD  ON  THE  SEOUL-Fl'SAN  LINE. 


THE  RULE  OF  PRINCE  ITO 


151 

station,  and  the  Japanese  military  authorities  there 
wanted  it.  They  drove  stakes  into  part  of  the 
property,  and  he  thereupon  represented  the  case  to 
the  Japanese  officials,  and  after  at  least  twice  asking 
them  to  remove  their  stakes,  he  pulled  them  up 
himself.  The  Japanese  waited  until  a fellow-mis- 
sionary, who  lived  with  Mr.  McRae,  had  gone  away  ^ 
on  a visit,  and  then  six  soldiers  entered  his  compound 
and  attacked  him.  He  defended  himself  so  well  that 
he  finally  drove  them  off,  although  he  received  some 
bad  injuries,  especially  from  the  blows  from  one  of 
the  men’s  rifles.  Complaint  was  made  to  the  chief 
authorities,  and,  in  this  case,  the  Japanese  promised 
to  punish  the  officer  concerned.  But  there  have 
been  dozens  of  instances  affecting  Europeans  of  all 
ranks,  from  consular  officials  to  chance  visitors.  In 
most  cases  the  complaints  are  met  by  a simple  denial 
on  the  part  of  the  Japanese.  Even  where  the  offence 
is  admitted  and  punishment  is  promised,  the  Euro- 
peans will  assure  you  that  the  men,  whom  it  has 
been  promised  to  imprison,  come  and  parade  them- 
selves outside  their  houses  immediately  afterwards  in 
triumph.  In  Korea,  as  in  Formosa,  the  policy  is 
to-day  to  humiliate  the  white  man  by  any  means 
and  in  any  way. 

Two  regulations  of  the  Japanese,  apparently 
framed  in  the  interests  of  the  Koreans,  are  held  by 
many  to  be  a dangerous  blow  at  their  rights.  New 
land  laws  have  been  drawn  up,  by  which  fresh  title- 
deeds  are  given  for  the  old  and  complicated  deeds 
of  former  times.  As  the  Koreans,  however,  point  out, 
large  numbers  of  people  hold  their  land  in  such  a 


152 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


way  that  it  is  impossible  for  them  to  prove  their 
right  by  written  deeds.  It  is  feared  that,  under 
these  new  measures,  it  will  be  possible  to  dispossess 
such  families.  Until  the  end  of  1905  large  numbers 
of  Koreans  went  abroad  to  Honolulu  and  elsewhere 
as  labourers.  The  Residency-General  then  framed 
new  emigration  laws,  nominally  to  protect  the 
natives,  which  have  had  the  result  of  making  the  old 
systematic  emigration  impossible.  I hear  from  all 
sides  that  the  families  who  would  fain  escape  the 
Japanese  rule  and  establish  themselves  in  other  lands 
have  every  possible  hindrance  put  in  their  way. 
The  men  of  the  north,  at  least,  are  well  aware  that 
they  can  obtain  in  the  Russian  Usuri  provinces  easy 
conditions  of  living,  fair  administration,  and  justice. 
The  condition  of  the  Koreans  in  Eastern  Siberia, 
prosperous,  peaceful,  and  contented,  is  an  amazing 
contrast  to  that  of  those  under  Japanese  rule  in 
Korea  itself. 

Act  after  act  has  revealed  that  the  Japanese  con- 
sider Korea  and  all  in  it  belongs  to  them.  Do  they 
want  a thing  ? Then  let  them  take  it,  and  woe  be  to 
the  man  who  dares  to  hinder  them  ! This  attitude 
was  illustrated  in  an  interesting  fashion  by  a bit  of 
vandalism  on  the  part  of  Viscount  Tanaka,  Special 
Envoy  from  the  Mikado  to  the  Korean  Emperor. 
When  the  Viscount  was  in  Seoul,  late  in  1906,  he 
was  approached  by  a Japanese  curio-dealer,  who 
pointed  out  to  him  that  there  was  a very  famous 
old  Pagoda  in  the  district  of  P’ung-duk,  a short 
distance  from  Song-do.  This  Pagoda  was  presented 
to  Korea  by  the  Chinese  Imperial  Court  a thousand 


THE  RULE  OF  PRINCE  ITO 


153 


years  ago,  and  the  people  believed  that  the  stones  of 
which  it  was  constructed  possessed  great  curative 
qualities.  They  named  it  the  “ Medicine  King 
Pagoda”  (Yakuo-to),  and  its  fame  was  known 
throughout  the  country.  It  was  a national  memorial 
as  much  as  the  Monument  near  London  Bridge  is  a 
national  memorial  for  Englishmen.  Viscount  Tanaka 
is  a great  curio-collector,  and  when  he  heard  of  this 
Pagoda,  he  longed  for  it.  He  mentioned  his  desire 
to  the  Korean  Minister  for  the  Imperial  Household, 
and  the  Minister  told  him  to  take  it  if  he  wanted  it. 
A few  days  afterwards,  Viscount  Tanaka,  when 
bidding  the  Emperor  farewell,  thanked  him  for  the 
gift.  The  Korean  Emperor  looked  blank,  and  said 
that  he  did  not  know  what  the  Viscount  was  talking 
about.  He  had  heard  nothing  of  it. 

However,  before  long,  a party  of  eighty  Japanese, 
including  a number  of  gendarmes,  well  armed  and 
ready  for  resistance,  swooped  down  on  Song-do. 
They  took  the  Pagoda  to  pieces  and  placed  the 
stones  on  carts.  The  people  of  the  district  gathered 
round  them,  threatened  them,  and  tried  to  attack 
them.  But  the  Japanese  were  too  strong.  The 
Pagoda  was  conveyed  in  due  course  to  Tokyo. 

Such  an  outrage  could  not  go  unnoticed.  The 
story  of  the  loss  spread  over  the  country  and  reached 
the  foreign  Press.  Defenders  of  the  Japanese  at  first 
declared  that  it  was  an  obvious  and  incredible  lie. 
The  Japan  Mail  in  particular  opened  the  vials  of  its 
wrath  and  poured  them  upon  the  head  of  the  editor 
of  the  Korea  Daily  News — an  English  daily  pub- 
lication in  Seoul — who  had  dared  to  tell  the 


154 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


tale.  His  story  was  “wholly  incredible.”  “It  is 
impossible  to  imagine  any  educated  man  of  ordinary 
intelligence  foolish  enough  to  believe  such  a palpable 
lie,  unless  he  be  totally  blinded  by  prejudice.”  The 
Mail  discovered  here  again  another  reason  for  sup- 
porting its  plea  for  the  suppression  of  “ a wholly 
unscrupulous  and  malevolent  mischief-maker  like  the 
Korea  Daily  News."  “The  Japanese  should  think 
seriously  whether  this  kind  of  thing  is  to  be  tamely 
suffered.  In  allowing  such  charges  at  the  door  of  the 
Mikado’s  special  Envoy  who  is  also  Minister  of  the 
Imperial  Household,  the  Korea  Daily  News  delibe- 
rately insults  the  Mikado  himself.  There  is  indeed 
the  reflection  that  this  extravagance  will  not  be 
without  compensation,  since  it  will  demonstrate 
conclusively,  if  any  demonstration  were  needed,  how 
completely  unworthy  of  credence  have  been  the 
slanders  hitherto  ventilated  by  the  Seoul  journal  to 
bring  the  Japanese  into  odium.”  The  Japan  Mail , 
although  edited  by  a British  subject,  is  generally 
regarded  as  a semi-official  Japanese  Government 
organ. 

There  were  instant  demands  for  denials,  for 
explanations,  and  for  proceedings  against  the  wicked 
libeller.  Then  it  turned  out  that  the  story  was  true, 
and,  in  the  end,  the  Japanese  officials  had  to  admit 
its  truth.  It  was  said,  as  an  excuse,  that  the  Resident- 
General  had  not  given  his  consent  to  the  theft,  and 
that  Viscount  Tanaka  did  not  intend  to  keep  the 
Pagoda  himself,  but  to  present  it  to  the  Mikado. 
The  organ  of  the  Residency-General  in  Seoul,  the 
Seoul  Press,  made  the  best  excuse  it  could.  “Vis- 


THE  RULE  OF  PRINCE  ITO 


155 


count  Tanaka,”  it  said,  “ is  a conscientious  official, 
liked  and  respected  by  those  who  know  him,  whether 
foreign  or  Japanese,  but  he  is  an  ardent  virtuoso  and 
collector,  and  it  appears  that  in  this  instance  his 
collector’s  eagerness  got  the  better  of  his  sober  judg- 
ment and  discretion.”  But  excuses,  apologies,  and 
regrets  notwithstanding,  the  Pagoda  was  not  returned, 
and  it  remains  in  Japan  to  this  day. 


CHAPTER  XIII 
THE  ABDICATION  OF  YI  HYEUNG 
HE  Court  party  was  from  the  first  the  strongest 


opponent  of  the  Japanese.  Patriotism,  tradi- 
tion, and  selfish  interests  all  combined  to  intensify 
the  resistance  of  its  members.  Some  officials  found 
their  profits  threatened,  some  mourned  for  perquisites 
that  were  cut  off,  some  were  ousted  out  of  their  places 
to  make  room  for  Japanese,  and  most  felt  a not 
unnatural  anger  to  see  men  of  another  race  quietly 
assume  authority  over  their  Emperor  and  their 
country.  The  Emperor  led  the  opposition.  Old  perils 
had  taught  him  cunning.  He  knew  a hundred  ways 
to  feed  the  stream  of  discontent,  without  himself 
coming  forward.  Unfortunately  there  was  a strain 
of  great  weakness  in  his  character.  He  would 
support  vigorous  action  in  secret,  and  then,  when 
men  translated  his  speech  into  deeds,  he  would 
disavow  them  at  the  bidding  of  the  Japanese.  On 
one  point  he  never  wavered.  All  attempts  to  make 
him  formally  consent  to  the  treaty  of  November, 
1905,  were  in  vain.  “ I would  sooner  die  first ! ” he 
cried.  “ I would  sooner  take  poison  and  end  all ! ” 


ABDICATION  OF  YI  HYEUNG  157 


The  palace  in  the  heart  of  Seoul,  with  its 
4,000  hangers-on,  was  a nest  of  intrigue.  It  is 
the  custom  of  Japanese  defenders  to  paint  this 
palace  as  a centre  of  the  worst  Oriental  debauchery. 
This  is  wrong.  The  Emperor  lived  in  a little  build- 
ing adjoining  the  American  Legation,  a simple 
Korean  house,  with  a modern  audience-chamber 
attached.  In  the  outer  courts  of  the  palace  there 
were,  it  is  true,  numbers  of  attendants  and  depen- 
dants of  all  kinds.  There  was  the  usual  group  of 
Court  eunuchs,  and  there  were  among  the  officials 
a number  of  sorcerers.  The  Emperor  was  somewhat 
strictly  ruled  by  one  wife,  Lady  Om,  and  the 
simplicity  and  sobriety  of  his  daily  life  was  a marked 
contrast  to  that  of  many  Oriental  monarchs.  Those 
sons  of  Nippon  who  speak  of  the  debauchery  of  the 
Korean  Courts  invite  an  obvious  retort  which  I shall 
leave  to  others  to  make. 

In  July,  1906,  the  Marquis  Ito  began  to  exercise 
stronger  constraint  on  the  personal  life  of  the  Emperor. 
One  evening  a number  of  Japanese  police  were 
brought  into  the  palace.  The  old  palace  guards 
were  withdrawn,  and  the  Emperor  was  made  virtually 
a prisoner.  Police  officers  were  posted  at  each  gate, 
and  no  one  was  allowed  in  or  out  without  a permit 
from  a Japanese-nominated  official.  At  the  same 
time  many  of  the  old  palace  attendants  were  cleared 
out.  The  Resident-General  thought  that  if  the 
Emperor  were  isolated  from  his  friends,  and  if  he 
were  constantly  surrounded  by  enthusiastic  advocates 
of  Japan,  he  might  be  coerced  or  influenced  into 
submission.  Yet  here  Marquis  Ito  had  struck  against 


158  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


a vein  of  obstinacy  and  determination  that  he  could 
scarce  have  reckoned  with. 

The  Emperor  had  taken  every  opportunity  to  send 
messages  abroad  protesting  against  the  treaty.  He 
managed,  time  after  time,  still  to  hold  communica- 
tion with  his  friends,  but  the  Japanese  took  good 
care  that  traitors  should  come  to  him  and  be  loudest 
in  their  expressions  of  loyalty.  Little  that  he  did 
but  was  immediately  known  to  his  captors.  In  the 
early  summer  of  1907  the  Emperor  thought  that  he 
saw  his  chance  at  last  of  striking  a blow  for  freedom 
through  the  Hague  Conference.  He  was  still  con- 
vinced that  if  he  could  only  assure  the  Powers  that  he 
had  never  consented  to  the  treaty  robbing  Korea  of 
its  independence,  they  would  then  send  their  Ministers 
back  to  Seoul  and  cause  Japan  to  relax  her  hand. 
Accordingly,  amid  great  secrecy,  three  Korean 
delegates  of  high  rank  were  provided  with  funds  and 
dispatched  to  the  Hague  under  the  guardianship  of 
Mr.  Hulbert.  They  were  not  expert  in  the  ways 
of  foreign  diplomacy,  nor  was  their  guide.  Even  had 
they  been  practised  in  all  the  finesse  of  European 
Courts,  they  might  have  effected  nothing.  As  it  was, 
they  reached  the  Hague  only  to  be  refused  a hearing. 
The  Conference  would  have  nothing  to  say  to  them. 

This  action  on  the  part  of  the  Emperor  gave  the 
Japanese  an  excuse  they  had  long  been  looking  for. 
The  formation  of  the  Korean  Cabinet  had  been 
altered  months  before  in  anticipation  of  such  a crisis, 
and  the  Cabinet  Ministers  were  now  nominated  not 
by  the  Emperor,  but  by  the  Resident-General.  The 
Emperor  had  been  deprived  of  administrative  and 


ABDICATION  OF  YI  HYEUNG  159 


executive  power.  The  Marquis  Ito  had  seen  to  it 
that  the  Ministers  were  wholly  his  tools.  The 

time  had  come  when  his  tools  were  to  cut.  The 
Japanese  Government  assumed  an  attitude  of  silent 
wrath.  It  could  not  allow  such  offences  to  go 
unpunished,  its  friends  declared,  but  what  punish- 
ment it  would  inflict  it  refused  to  say.  Proceed- 
ings were  much  more  cleverly  stage-managed  than 
in  November,  1905.  Nominally,  the  Japanese  had 
nothing  to  do  with  the  abdication  of  the  Emperor. 
Actually  the  Cabinet  Ministers  held  their  gathering 
at  the  Residency-General  to  decide  on  their  policy, 
and  did  as  they  were  instructed.  They  went  to 
the  Emperor  and  demanded  that  he  should  abandon 
the  throne  to  save  his  country  from  being  swallowed 
up  by  Japan.  At  first  he  refused,  upon  which  their 
insistence  grew  greater.  No  news  of  sympathy  or 
help  reached  him  from  foreign  lands.  Knowing  the 
perils  surrounding  him,  he  thought  that  he  would 
trick  them  all  by  a simple  device.  He  would  make 
his  son,  the  Crown  Prince,  temporary  Emperor, 
using  a Chinese  ideograph  for  his  new  title  which 
could  scarce  be  distinguished  from  the  title  giving 
him  final  and  full  authority.  Here  he  over-reached 
himself,  for,  once  out,  he  was  out  for  good.  On 
July  19th,  at  six  o’clock  in  the  morning,  after  an 
all-night  conference,  the  Emperor  was  persuaded  to 
abdicate.  A few  hours  later  he  issued  his  final 
decree.  It  was  not  without  pathos. 

“ Let  Heaven  hear  ! For  over  forty  years  We  have 
followed  the  work  of  our  illustrious  ancestors.  Many 
troubles  have  come  on  us,  and  events  have  gone 


i6o 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


opposite  to  what  We  desired.  Perhaps  We  have 
not  always  selected  the  best  men  for  the  national 
posts.  Disturbances  have  constantly  grown  more 
acute,  and  all  efforts  to  remedy  them  have  generally 
failed.  Difficulties  have  become  pressing,  and  never 
has  the  distress  among  our  people,  or  the  heavy  work 
of  governing  them,  been  so  harassing  as  now.  We 
are  in  fear  and  trepidation,  and  We  feel  as  though 
walking  on  ice  covering  deep  water.  Occupants  of 
our  throne  have  become  weary  of  their  duties 
before  us,  and  have  resorted  to  abdication.  We 
hereby  hand  over  to  the  Crown  Prince  the  task  of 
administering  the  great  affairs  of  State,  and  order 
the  Bureau  of  Ceremony  of  the  Imperial  Household 
to  carry  out  the  details  thereof.” 

The  new  Emperor,  feeble  of  intellect,  could  be 
little  more  than  a tool  in  the  hands  of  his  advisers. 
His  father,  however,  intended  to  remain  by  his  side, 
and  to  rule  through  him.  In  less  than  a week  the 
Japanese  had  prepared  a new  treaty,  providing  still 
more  strictly  for  the  absolute  control  of  everything 
in  the  country  by  Japan.  The  six  curt  clauses  of 
this  measure  were  as  far-reaching  as  they  could 
possibly  be  made.  No  laws  were  to  be  acted  upon 
or  important  measures  taken  by  the  Government 
unless  the  consent  and  approval  of  the  Resident- 
General  had  been  previously  given.  All  officials 
were  to  hold  their  positions  at  the  pleasure  of  the 
Resident-General,  and  the  Government  of  Korea 
agreed  to  appoint  any  Japanese  the  Resident- 
General  might  recommend  to  any  post.  Finally, 
the  Government  of  Korea  was  to  engage  no 


ABDICATION  OF  YI  HYEUNG  161 


foreigner  without  the  consent  of  the  Japanese 
head. 

A few  days  later  a fresh  rescript  was  issued  in 
the  name  of  the  new  Emperor,  ordering  the  disband- 
ment of  the  Korean  Army.  This  was  written  in  the 
most  insulting  language  possible.  “ Our  existing 
army,  which  is  composed  of  mercenaries,  is  unfit 
for  the  purposes  of  national  defence,”  it  declared. 
It  was  to  make  way  “ for  the  eventual  formation  of 
an  efficient  army.”  To  add  to  the  insult,  the  Korean 
Premier,  Yi,  was  ordered  to  write  a request  to  the 
Resident-General,  begging  him  to  employ  the 
Japanese  forces  to  prevent  disturbances  when 
the  disbandment  took  place.  It  was  as  though 
the  Japanese,  having  their  heel  on  the  neck  of  the 
enemy,  slapped  his  face  to  show  their  contempt  for 
him.  On  the  morning  of  August  1st  some  of  the 
superior  officers  of  the  Korean  Army  were  called  to 
the  residence  of  the  Japanese  commander,  General 
Hasegawa,  and  the  Order  was  read  to  them.  They 
were  told  that  they  were  to  assemble  their  men  next 
morning,  without  arms,  and  to  dismiss  them  after 
paying  them  gratuities,  while  at  the  same  time  their 
weapons  would  be  secured  in  their  absence.  One 
officer,  Major  Pak,  commander  of  the  smartest  and 
best  of  the  Korean  battalions,  returned  to  his 
barracks  in  despair,  and  committed  suicide.  His 
men  learnt  of  what  had  happened  and  rose  in 
mutiny.  They  burst  upon  their  Japanese  military 
^instructors  and  nearly  killed  them.  They  then 
forced  open  the  ammunition-room,  secured  weapons 
and  cartridges,  posted  themselves  behind  the  win- 

12 


1 62  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

dows  of  their  barracks,  and  fired  at  every  Japanese 
they  saw.  News  quickly  reached  the  authorities, 
and  Japanese  companies  of  infantry  hurried  out  and 
surrounded  their  barracks.  One  party  attacked  the 
front  with  a machine-gun,  and  another  assaulted 
from  behind.  Fighting  began  at  half-past  eight  in 
the  morning.  The  Koreans  defended  themselves 
until  noon,  and  then  were  finally  overcome  by  a 
bayonet  charge  from  the  rear.  Their  gallant 
defence  excited  the  greatest  admiration  even 
among  their  enemies,  and  it  was  notable  that  for 
a few  days  at  least  the  Japanese  spoke  with  more 
respect  of  Korea  and  the  Korean  people  than  they 
had  ever  done  before.  Only  one  series  of  incidents 
disgraced  the  day.  The  Japanese  soldiers  behaved 
well  and  treated  the  wounded  well,  but  that  night 
parties  of  low-class  bullies  emerged  from  the 
Japanese  quarter,  seeking  victims.  They  beat 
they  stabbed  and  murdered  any  man  they  could 
find  whom  they  suspected  of  being  a rebel.  Dozens 
of  them  would  set  on  one  helpless  victim  and  do  him 
to  death.  This  was  stopped  as  soon  as  the  Resi- 
dency-General knew  what  was  happening,  and  a 
number  of  offenders  were  arrested. 

Marquis  I to  was  made  a Prince,  a few  months 
afterwards,  by  the  Mikado  for  his  services  in  Korea. 


CHAPTER  XIV 


THE  CROWNING  OF  THE  PUPPET  EMPEROR 
ATE  in  August  the  new  Emperor  of  Korea  was 


crowned  amid  the  sullen  silence  of  a resentful 


people.  Of  popular  enthusiasm  there  was  none.  A 
few  flags  were  displayed  in  the  streets  by  the  order 
of  the  police.  In  olden  times  a coronation  had  been 
marked  by  great  festivities,  lasting  many  weeks. 
Now  there  was  gloom,  apathy,  indifference.  News 
was  coming  in  hourly  from  the  provinces  of  up- 
risings and  murders.  The  II  Chin  Hoi — they  call 
themselves  reformers,  but  the  nation  has  labelled 
them  traitors — attempted  to  make  a feast,  but  the 
people  stayed  away.  “ This  is  the  day  not  for  feast- 
ing but  for  the  beginning  of  a year  of  mourning,” 
men  muttered  one  to  the  other. 

The  Japanese  authorities  who  controlled  the 
coronation  ceremony  did  all  they  could  to  mini- 
mise it  and  to  prevent  independent  outside  pub- 
licity. In  this  they  were  well  advised.  No  one 
who  looked  upon  the  new  Emperor  as  he  entered 
the  hall  of  state,  his  shaking  frame  upborne  by  two 
officials,  or  as  he  stood  later,  with  open  mouth,  fallen 
jaw,  indifferent  eyes,  and  face  lacking  even  a flicker- 


1 64  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


ing  gleam  of  intelligent  interest,  could  doubt  that  the 
fewer  who  saw  this  the  better.  Yet  the  ceremony, 
even  when  robbed  of  much  of  its  ancient  pomp  and 
all  its  dignity,  was  unique  and  picturesque. 

The  main  feature  of  this  day  was  not  so  much 
the  coronation  itself  as  the  cutting  of  the  Emperor’s 
top-knot. 

On  the  abdication  of  the  old  Emperor,  the  Cabinet 
— who  are  enthusiastic  hair-cutters — saw  their  oppor- 
tunity. The  new  Emperor  was  informed  that  his 
hair  must  be  cut.  He  did  not  like  it.  He  thought 
that  the  operation  would  be  painful,  and  he  was  quite 
satisfied  with  his  hair  as  it  was.  Then  his  Cabinet 
showed  him  a brilliant  uniform,  covered  with  gold 
lace.  He  was  henceforth  to  wear  that  on  ceremonial 
occasions,  and  not  his  old  Korean  dress.  How  could 
he  put  on  the  plumed  hat  of  a Generalissimo  with  a 
top-knot  in  the  way?  The  Cabinet  were  determined. 
A few  hours  later  a proclamation  was  spread  through 
the  land  informing  all  dutiful  subjects  that  the 
Emperor’s  top-knot  was  coming  off,  and  urging 
them  to  imitate  him. 

A new  Court  servant  was  appointed — the  High 
Imperial  Hair-cutter.  He  displayed  his  uniform  in 
the  streets  around  the  palace,  a sight  for  the  gods. 
He  strutted  along  in  white  breeches,  voluminous 
white  frock-coat,  white  shoes,  and  black  silk  hat, 
the  centre  of  attention. 

Early  in  the  morning  there  was  a great  scene 
in  the  palace.  The  Imperial  Hair-cutter  was  in 
attendance.  A group  of  old  Court  officials  hung 
around  the  Emperor.  With  blanched  faces  and 


CROWNING  OF  PUPPET  EMPEROR  165 


shaking  voices  they  implored  him  not  to  aban- 
don the  old  ways.  The  Emperor  paused,  fearful. 
What  power  would  be  filched  from  him  by  the 
shearing  of  his  locks  ? But  there  could  be  no 
hesitating  now.  Resolute  men  were  behind  who 
knew  what  they  were  going  to  see  done.  A few 
minutes  later  the  great  step  was  taken. 

The  Residency-General  arranged  the  coronation 
ceremony  in  such  a manner  as  to  include  as  many 
Japanese  and  to  exclude  as  many  foreigners  as 
possible.  There  were  nearly  a hundred  Japanese 
present,  including  the  Mayor  of  the  Japanese  settle- 
ment and  the  Buddhist  priest.  There  were  only 
six  white  men — five  Consuls-General  and  Bishop 
Turner,  chief  of  the  Anglican  Church  in  Korea.  The 
Japanese  came  arrayed  in  splendid  uniforms.  It  is 
part  of  the  new  Japanese  policy  to  attire  even 
the  most  minor  officials  in  sumptuous  Court  dress, 
with  much  gold  lace  and  many  orders.  This  enables 
Japan  to  make  a brilliant  show  in  official  ceremonies, 
a thing  that  is  not  without  effect  in  Oriental  Courts. 

Shortly  before  ten  o’clock  the  guests  assembled  in 
the  throne-room  of  the  palace,  a modern  apartment 
with  a raised  dais  at  one  end.  There  were  Koreans 
to  the  left  and  Japanese  to  the  right  of  the  Emperor, 
with  the  Cabinet  in  the  front  line  on  one  side  and 
the  Residency-General  officials  on  the  other.  The 
foreigners  faced  the  raised  platform. 

The  new  Emperor  appeared,  borne  to  the  plat- 
form by  the  Lord  Chamberlain  and  the  Master  of 
the  Household.  He  was  dressed  in  the  ancient 
costume  of  his  people,  a flowing  blue  garment 


1 66  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

reaching  to  the  ankles,  with  a robe  of  softer 
cream  colour  underneath.  On  his  head  was  a 
quaint  Korean  hat,  with  a circle  of  Korean  orna- 
ments hanging  from  its  high,  outstanding  horse- 
hair brim.  On  his  chest  was  a small  decorative 
breastplate.  Tall,  clumsily  built,  awkward,  and 
vacant-looking — such  was  the  Emperor. 

In  ancient  days  all  would  have  kow-towed  before 
him,  and  would  have  beaten  their  foreheads  on 
the  ground.  Now  no  man  did  more  than  bow, 
save  one  Court  herald,  who  knelt.  Weird  Korean 
music  started  in  the  background,  the  beating  of 
drums  and  the  playing  of  melancholy  wind  instru- 
ments. The  Master  of  Ceremonies  struck  up  a 
chant,  which  hidden  choristers  continued.  Amid 
silence,  the  Prime  Minister,  in  smart  modern  attire, 
advanced  and  read  a paper  of  welcome.  The 
Emperor  stood  still,  apparently  the  least  interested 
man  in  the  room.  He  did  not  even  look  bored — 
simply  vacant. 

After  this  there  was  a pause  in  the  proceed- 
ings. The  Emperor  retired  and  the  guests  went 
into  the  anterooms.  Soon  all  were  recalled,  and 
the  Emperor  reappeared.  There  had  been  a quick 
change  in  the  meantime.  He  was  now  wearing  his 
new  modern  uniform,  as  Generalissimo  of  the  Korean 
Army.  Two  high  decorations — one,  if  I mistake  not, 
from  the  Emperor  of  Japan — hung  on  his  breast. 
He  looked  much  more  manly  in  his  new  attire. 
In  front  of  him  was  placed  his  new  head-dress,  a 
peaked  cap  with  a fine  plume  sticking  up  straight 
in  front.  The  music  now  was  no  longer  the  ancient 


CROWNING  OF  PUPPET  EMPEROR  167 


Korean,  but  modern  airs  from  the  very  fine 
European-trained  band  attached  to  the  palace. 
The  Korean  players  had  gone,  with  the  old  dress 
and  the  old  life,  into  limbo. 

The  Japanese  Acting  Resident-General  and  mili- 
tary commander,  General  Baron  Hasegawa,  strong 
and  masterful-looking,  stepped  to  the  front  with  a 
message  of  welcome  from  his  Emperor.  He  was 
followed  by  the  doyen  of  the  Consular  Corps,  M. 
Vincart,  with  the  Consular  greetings.  This  Consular 
message  had  been  very  carefully  sub-edited,  and  all 
expressions  implying  that  the  Governments  of  the 
different  representatives  approved  of  the  proceed- 
ings had  been  eliminated.  Then  the  coronation 
was  over. 

Two  figures  were  conspicuous  by  their  absence. 
The  ex-Emperor  was  not  present.  According  to 
the  official  explanation,  he  was  unable  to  attend 
because  “his  uniform  had  not  been  finished  in  time.” 
Really,  as  all  men  knew,  he  was  sitting  resentful 
and  protesting  within  a few  score  yards  of  the  spot 
where  his  son  was  crowned. 

The  second  absent  figure  was  the  Russian 
Consul-General,  M.  de  Plangon.  It  was  announced 
that  M.  de  Plancon  was  late,  and  so  could  not  attend. 
Seeing  that  M.  de  Plancon  lives  not  ten  minutes’ 
walk  from  the  palace,  and  that  the  guests  had  to 
wait  nearly  an  hour  after  the  time  announced  before 
the  ceremony  began,  he  must  have  over-slept  very 
much  indeed  on  that  particular  morning.  Oddly 
enough,  M.  de  Plancon  is  usually  an  early  riser. 


CHAPTER  XV 


A JOURNEY  TO  THE  “RIGHTEOUS  ARMY” 

HE  Korean  Emperor  had  been  deposed  and 


his  army  disbanded.  The  people  of  Seoul, 
sullen,  resentful,  and  powerless,  victims  of  the  apathy 
of  their  sires  and  of  their  own  indolence  and  folly, 
saw  their  national  existence  filched  from  them,  and 
scarce  dared  mutter  a protest.  The  triumphant 
Japanese  soldiers  stood  at  the  city  gates  and  within 
the  palace.  Princes  must  obey  their  slightest  wish, 
even  to  the  cutting  of  their  hair  and  the  fashioning 
of  their  clothes.  General  Hasegawa’s  guns  com- 
manded every  street,  and  all  men  dressed  in  white 
need  walk  softly. 

But  it  soon  became  clear  that  if  Seoul,  the  capital, 
was  overawed,  some  parts  of  the  country  were  not. 
Refugees  from  distant  villages,  creeping  after  night- 
fall over  the  city  wall,  brought  with  them  marvellous 
tales  of  the  happenings  in  the  provinces.  District 
after  district  had  risen  against  the  Japanese.  A 
“ Righteous  Army  ” had  been  formed,  and  was 
accomplishing  amazing  things.  Detachments  of 
Japanese  had  been  annihilated  and  others  driven 


JOURNEY  TO  “RIGHTEOUS  ARMY”  169 


back.  Sometimes  the  Japanese,  it  is  true,  were 
victorious,  and  then  they  took  bitter  vengeance, 
destroying  a whole  countryside  and  slaughtering 
the  people  in  wholesale  fashion.  So  the  refugees 
said.  How  far  were  these  stories  true  ? I am 
bound  to  say  that  I,  for  one,  regarded  them  with 
much  scepticism.  Familiar  as  I was  with  the 
offences  of  individual  Japanese  in  the  country,  it 
seemed  impossible  that  outrages  could  be  carried 
on  systematically  by  the  Japanese  Army  under  the 
direction  of  its  officers.  I was  with  a Japanese 
army  during  the  war,  and  had  marked  and  admired 
the  restraint  and  discipline  of  the  men  of  all  ranks 
there.  They  neither  stole  nor  outraged.  Still  more 
recently  I had  noted  the  action  of  the  Japanese 
soldiers  when  repressing  the  uprising  in  Seoul 
itself.  Yet,  whether  the  stories  of  the  refugees 
were  true  or  false,  undeniably  some  interesting 
fighting  was  going  on. 

By  the  first  week  in  September  it  was  clear  that 
the  area  of  trouble  covered  the  eastern  provinces 
from  near  Fusan  to  the  north  of  Seoul.  The  rebels 
were  evidently  mainly  composed  of  discharged 
soldiers  and  of  hunters  from  the  hills.  We  heard 
in  Seoul  that  trained  officers  of  the  old  Korean 
Army  were  drilling  and  organising  them  into 
volunteer  companies.  The  Japanese  were  pouring 
fresh  troops  into  these  centres  of  trouble,  but  the 
rebels,  by  an  elaborate  system  of  mountain-top 
signalling,  were  avoiding  the  troops  and  making 
their  attacks  on  undefended  spots.  Reports  showed 
that  they  were  badly  armed  and  lacked  ammuni- 


i;o  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

tion,  and  there  seemed  to  be  no  effective  organisation 
for  sending  them  weapons  from  the  outside. 

The  first  rallying-place  of  the  malcontent  Koreans 
was  in  a mountain  district  from  eighty  to  ninety 
miles  east  of  Seoul.  Here  lived  many  famous  Korean 
tiger-hunters.  These  banded  themselves  together 
under  the  title  of  Eui-pyung (the  “Righteous  Army”). 
They  had  conflicts  with  small  parties  of  Japanese 
troops  and  secured  some  minor  successes.  When 
considerable  Japanese  reinforcements  arrived  they 
retired  to  some  mountain  passes  further  back. 

The  tiger-hunters,  sons  of  the  hills,  iron-nerved, 
and  operating  in  their  own  country,  are  naturally 
awkward  antagonists  even  for  the  best  regular  troops. 
They  are  probably  amongst  the  boldest  sportsmen  in 
the  world,  and  they  formed  the  most  picturesque  and 
romantic  section  of  the  rebels.  Their  only  weapon 
is  an  old-fashioned  percussion  gun,  with  long  barrel 
and  a brass  trigger  seven  to  eight  inches  in  length. 
Many  of  them  fire  not  from  the  shoulder,  but  hold 
their  guns  low.  They  never  miss.  They  can  only 
fire  one  charge  in  an  attack,  owing  to  the  time 
required  to  load.  They  are  trained  to  stalk  the 
tiger,  to  come  quite  close  to  it,  and  then  to  kill  it 
at  one  shot.  No  tiger-hunter  in  the  field  to-day  has 
ever  failed  to  hit  his  prey.  The  man  who  fails  once 
dies  ; the  tiger  attends  to  that. 

Some  of  the  stories  of  Korean  successes  reaching 
Seoul  were  at  the  best  improbable.  The  tale  of  one 
fight,  however,  came  to  me  through  so  many  different 
and  independent  sources  that  there  was  reason  to 
suspect  it  had  substantial  foundation.  It  recalled  the 


JOURNEY  TO  “RIGHTEOUS  ARMY”  171 


doings  of  the  people  of  the  Tyrol  in  their  struggle 
against  Napoleon.  A party  of  Japanese  soldiers, 
forty-eight  in  number,  were  guarding  a quantity  of 
supplies  from  point  to  point.  The  Koreans  prepared 
an  ambuscade  in  a mountain  valley  overshadowed 
by  precipitous  hills  on  either  side.  When  the  troops 
reached  the  centre  of  the  valley  they  were  over- 
whelmed by  a flight  of  great  boulders  rolled  on 
them  from  the  hill-tops,  and  before  the  survivors 
could  rally  a host  of  Koreans  rushed  upon  them 
and  did  them  to  death. 

Proclamations  by  Koreans  were  smuggled  into  the 
capital,  written  in  the  usual  bombastic  national  style. 
Parties  of  Japanese  troops  were  constantly  leaving 
Chinkokai,  the  Japanese  quarter  in  Seoul,  for  the 
provinces.  There  came  a public  notice  from  General 
Hasegawa  himself,  which  showed  the  real  gravity  of 
the  rural  situation.  It  ran  as  follows : — 

“ I,  General  Baron  Yoshimichi  Hasegawa,  Com- 
mander of  the  Army  of  Occupation  in  Korea,  make 
the  following  announcement  to  each  and  every  one 
of  the  people  of  Korea  throughout  all  the  provinces. 
Taught  by  the  natural  trend  of  affairs  in  the  world 
and  impelled  by  the  national  need  of  political 
regeneration,  the  Government  of  Korea,  in  obedi- 
ence to  His  Imperial  Majesty’s  wishes,  is  now 
engaged  in  the  task  of  reorganising  the  various 
institutions  of  State.  But  those  who  are  ignorant 
of  the  march  of  events  in  the  world  and  who  fail 
correctly  to  distinguish  loyalty  from  treason  have 
by  wild  and  baseless  rumours  instigated  people’s 
minds  and  caused  the  rowdies  in  various  places  to 


172 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


rise  in  insurrection.  These  insurgents  commit  all 
sorts  of  horrible  crimes,  such  as  murdering  peaceful 
people,  both  native  and  foreign,  robbing  their  pro- 
perty, burning  official  and  private  buildings,  and 
destroying  means  of  communication.  Their  offences 
are  such  as  are  not  tolerated  by  Heaven  or  earth. 
They  affect  to  be  loyal  and  patriotic  and  call  them- 
selves volunteers.  But  none  the  less  they  are 
law-breakers,  who  oppose  their  Sovereign’s  wishes 
concerning  political  regeneration  and  who  work  the 
worst  possible  harm  to  their  country  and  people. 

“ Unless  they  are  promptly  suppressed  the  trouble 
may  assume  really  calamitous  proportions.  I am 
charged  by  His  Majesty,  the  Emperor  of  Korea,  with 
the  task  of  rescuing  you  from  such  disasters  by 
thoroughly  stamping  out  the  insurrection.  I charge 
all  of  you,  law-abiding  people  of  Korea,  to  prosecute 
your  respective  peaceful  avocations  and  be  troubled 
with  no  fears.  As  for  those  who  have  joined  the 
insurgents  from  mistaken  motives,  if  they  honestly 
repent  and  promptly  surrender  they  will  be  pardoned 
of  their  offence.  Any  of  you  who  will  seize  insur- 
gents or  will  give  information  concerning  their 
whereabouts  will  be  handsomely  rewarded.  In  case 
of  those  who  wilfully  join  insurgents,  or  afford  them 
refuge,  or  conceal  weapons,  they  shall  be  severely 
punished.  More  than  that,  the  villages  to  which 
such  offenders  belong  shall  be  held  collectively 
responsible  and  punished  with  rigour.  I call  upon 
each  and  every  one  of  the  people  of  Korea  to  under- 
stand clearly  what  I have  herewith  said  to  you  and 
avoid  all  reprehensible  action.” 


AN  OUTI'OST  OF  KOREAN  REBELS. 


JOURNEY  TO  “RIGHTEOUS  ARMY”  173 


The  Koreans  in  America  circulated  a manifesto 
directed  against  those  of  their  countrymen  who  were 
working  with  Japan,  under  the  expressive  title  of 
“ explosive  thunder,”  which  breathed  fury  and 
vengeance.  “ Our  twenty  million  people,”  they 
declared,  “are  getting  very  angry.  Their  patriotic 
wrath  has  reached  the  heavens,  and  their  patriotic 
blood  is  as  high  as  the  highest  tide.  We  are  going 
to  burn  down  your  houses  and  cut  off  your  heads, 
and  then  we  will  divide  your  flesh  into  twenty  million 
pieces  that  will  be  eaten  by  twenty  million  people. 
Then  we  will  divide  your  blood  into  twenty  million 
cups  that  will  be  drunk  by  all  of  us  again.  Even 
after  eating  and  drinking  your  flesh  and  blood  we 
will  not  be  satisfied.  You  are  unique  criminals,  you 
base-born  wretches,  hid  in  foreigners’  houses  and 
walking  with  the  protection  of  foreign  troops.  Even 
the  children  know  your  cry.” 

Groups  of  Koreans  in  the  provinces  issued  other 
statements  which,  if  not  quite  so  picturesque,  were 
quite  forcible  enough.  Here  is  one  : — 

“ Our  numbers  are  twenty  million,  and  we  have 
over  ten  million  strong  men,  excluding  old,  sick,  and 
children.  Now,  the  Japanese  soldiers  in  Korea  are 
not  more  than  eight  thousand,  and  Japanese  merchants 
at  various  places  are  not  more  than  some  thousands. 
Though  their  weapons  are  sharp,  how  can  one  man 
kill  a thousand  ? We  beg  you  our  brothers  not  to 
act  in  a foolish  way  and  not  to  kill  any  innocent 
persons.  We  will  fix  the  day  and  the  hour  for  you 
to  strike.  Some  of  us,  disguised  as  beggars  and 
merchants,  will  go  into  Seoul.  We  will  destroy  the 


174 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


railway,  we  will  kindle  flames  in  every  port,  we  will 
destroy  Chinkokai,  kill  Ito  and  all  the  Japanese, 
Yi  Wang  Yong  and  his  underlings,  and  will  not 
leave  a single  rebel  against  our  Emperor  alive. 
Then  Japan  will  bring  out  all  her  troops  to  fight  us. 
We  have  no  weapons  at  our  hands,  but  we  will  keep 
our  own  patriotism.  We  may  not  be  able  to  fight 
against  the  sharp  weapons  of  the  Japanese,  but  we 
will  ask  the  Foreign  Consuls  to  help  us  with  their 
troops,  and  maybe  they  will  assist  the  right  persons 
and  destroy  the  wicked  ; otherwise  let  us  die.  Let 
us  strike  against  Japan,  and  then,  if  must  be,  all 
die  together  with  our  country  and  with  our  Emperor, 
for  there  is  no  other  course  open  to  us.  It  is  better 
to  lose  our  lives  now  than  to  live  miserably  a little 
time  longer,  for  the  Emperor  and  our  brothers  will 
all  surely  be  killed  by  the  abominable  plans  of  Ito, 
Yi  Wang  Yong,  and  their  associates.  It  is  better 
to  die  as  a patriot  than  to  live  having  abandoned 
one’s  country.  Mr.  Yi  Chun  went  to  foreign  lands 
to  plead  for  our  country,  and  his  plans  did  not  carry 
well,  so  he  cut  his  stomach  asunder  with  a sword  and 
poured  out  his  blood  among  the  foreign  nations  to 
proclaim  his  patriotism  to  the  world.  These  of  our 
twenty  million  people  who  do  not  unite  offend 
against  the  memory  of  Mr.  Yi  Chun.  We  have  to 
choose  between  destruction  or  the  maintenance  of 
our  country.  Whether  we  live  or  die  is  a small 
thing,  the  great  thing  is  that  we  make  up  our  minds 
at  once  whether  we  work  for  or  against  our  country.” 
A group  of  Koreans  in  the  southern  provinces 
petitioned  Prince  Ito,  in  the  frankest  fashion  : — 


JOURNEY  TO  “RIGHTEOUS  ARMY”  175 


“ You  spoke  much  of  the  kindness  and  friendship 
between  Japan  and  Korea,  but  actually  you  have 
drawn  away  the  profits  from  province  after  province 
and  district  after  district  until  nothing  is  left  wherever 
the  hand  of  the  Japanese  falls.  The  Korean  has 
been  brought  to  ruin,  and  the  Japanese  shall  be 
made  to  follow  him  downwards.  We  pity  you  very 
much  ; but  you  shall  not  enjoy  the  profits  of  the  ruin 
of  our  land.  When  Japan  and  Korea  fall  together 
it  will  be  a misfortune  indeed  for  you.  If  you  would 
secure  safety  for  yourself  follow  this  rule  : memorialise 
our  Majesty  to  impeach  the  traitors  and  put  them  to 
right  punishment.  Then  every  Korean  will  regard 
you  with  favour,  and  the  Europeans  will  be  loud  in 
your  praise.  Advise  the  Korean  authorities  to  carry 
out  reforms  in  various  directions,  help  them  to 
enlarge  the  schools,  and  to  select  capable  men  for 
the  Government  service  ; then  the  three  countries, 
Korea,  China,  and  Japan,  shall  stand  in  the  same 
line,  strongly  united  and  esteemed  by  foreign  nations. 
If  you  will  not  do  this,  and  if  you  continue  to  encroach 
on  our  rights,  then  we  will  be  destroyed  together, 
thanks  to  you. 

“You  thought  there  were  no  men  left  in  Korea  ; 
you  will  see.  We  country  people  are  resolved  to 
destroy  your  railways  and  your  settlements  and  your 
authorities.  On  a fixed  day  we  shall  send  word  to 
our  patriots  in  the  north,  in  the  south,  in  Ping-yang 
and  Kyung  Sang,  to  rise  and  drive  away  all  Japanese 
from  the  various  ports,  and  although  your  soldiers 
are  skilful  with  their  guns  it  will  be  very  hard  for 
them  to  stand  against  our  twenty  million  people. 


176  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


We  will  first  attack  the  Japanese  in  Korea,  but  when 
we  have  finished  them  we  will  appeal  to  the  Foreign 
Powers  to  assure  the  independence  and  freedom  of 
our  country.  Before  we  send  the  word  to  our  fellow- 
countrymen  we  give  you  this  advice.” 

It  was  clear  that  some  interesting  fighting  was 
going  on.  I resolved  to  try  to  see  it.  This,  I soon 
found,  was  easier  attempted  than  done. 

The  first  difficulty  came  from  the  Japanese 
authorities.  They  refused  to  grant  me  a passport, 
declaring  that,  owing  to  the  disturbances,  they  could 
not  guarantee  my  safety  in  the  interior.  An  inter- 
view followed  at  the  Residency-General,  in  which 
I was  duly  warned  that  if  I travelled  without  a pass- 
port I would  be  liable,  under  International  treaties,  to 
“ arrest  at  any  point  on  the  journey  and  punishment.” 

This  did  not  trouble  me  very  much.  My  real  fear 
had  been  that  the  Japanese  would  consent  to  my 
going,  but  would  insist  on  sending  a guard  of 
Japanese  soldiers  with  me.  It  is  more  than  doubtful 
if,  as  things  are  now,  the  Japanese  have  any  right 
to  stop  a foreigner  from  travelling  in  Korea,  for 
the  passport  regulations  have  long  been  virtually 
obsolete.  This  was  a point  that  I was  prepared  to 
argue  out  at  leisure  after  my  arrest  and  confinement 
in  a Consular  gaol.  So  the  preparations  for  my 
departure  were  continued. 

The  traveller  in  Korea,  away  from  the  railroads, 
must  carry  everything  he  wants  with  him,  except 
food  for  his  horses.  He  must  have  at  least  three 
horses  or  ponies : one  for  himself,  one  pack-pony, 
and  one  for  his  bedding  and  his  “ boy.”  Each  pony 


JOURNEY  TO  “RIGHTEOUS  ARMY”  177 


needs  its  own  “ mafoo,”  or  groom,  to  cook  its  food 
and  to  attend  to  it.  So,  although  travelling  lightly 
and  in  a hurry,  I would  be  obliged  to  take  two  horses, 
one  pony,  and  four  attendants  with  me. 

My  friends  in  Seoul,  both  white  and  Korean,  were 
of  opinion  that  if  I attempted  the  trip  I would 
probably  never  return.  No  white  man  had  gone 
in  the  worst  regions  since  the  beginning  of  the 
trouble.  Korean  tiger-hunters  and  disbanded  soldiers 
were  scattered  about  the  hills,  waiting  for  the  chance 
of  pot-shots  at  passing  Japanese.  They  would 
certainly  in  the  distance  take  me  for  a Japanese, 
since  the  Japanese  soldiers  and  leaders  all  wear 
foreign  clothes,  and  they  would  make  me  their  target 
before  they  found  out  their  mistake.  A score  of 
suggestions  were  proffered  as  to  how  I should  avoid 
this.  One  old  servant  of  mine  begged  me  to  travel 
in  a native  chair,  like  a Korean  gentleman.  This 
chair  is  a kind  of  small  box,  carried  by  two  or  four 
bearers,  in  which  the  traveller  sits  all  the  time 
crouched  up  on  his  haunches.  Its  average  speed 
is  less  than  two  miles  an  hour.  I preferred  the 
bullets.  A member  of  the  Korean  Court  urged  me 
to  send  out  messengers  each  night  to  the  villages 
where  I would  be  going  next  day,  telling  the  people 
that  I was  an  “ Ingoa  tai  ” (English  gentleman)  and 
so  they  must  not  shoot  me.  And  so  on  and  so  forth. 

This  exaggerated  idea  of  the  risks  of  the  trip 
unfortunately  spread  abroad.  The  horse  merchant 
demanded  specially  high  terms  for  the  hire  of  his 
beasts,  because  he  might  never  see  them  again.  I 
needed  a “boy,”  or  native  servant,  and  although 

13 


178  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


there  are  plenty  of  “ boys  ” in  Seoul  none  was  to 
be  had. 

I engaged  one  servant,  a fine  upstanding  young 
Korean,  Wo  by  name,  who  had  been  out  on  many 
hunting  and  mining  expeditions.  I noticed  that  he 
was  looking  uneasy,  and  I was  scarcely  surprised 
when  at  the  end  of  the  third  day  he  came  to  me 
with  downcast  eyes.  “ Master,”  he  said,  “ my  heart  is 
very  much  frightened.  Please  excuse  me  this  time.” 

“ What  is  there  to  be  frightened  about  ? ” I 
demanded. 

“ Korean  men  will  shoot  you  and  then  will  kill  me 
because  my  hair  is  cut.”  The  rebels  were  reported 
to  be  killing  all  men  not  wearing  top-knots. 

Exit  Wo.  Some  one  recommended  Han,  also  with 
a great  hunting  record.  But  when  Han  heard  the 
destination  he  promptly  withdrew.  Sin  was  a good 
boy  out  of  place.  Sin  was  sent  for,  but  forwarded 
apologies  for  not  coming. 

One  Korean  was  longing  to  accompany  me — my 
old  servant  in  the  war,  Kim  Min  Gun.  But  Kim 
was  in  permanent  employment  and  could  not  obtain 
leave.  “ Master,”  he  said  contemptuously,  when  he 
heard  of  the  refusals,  “ these  men  plenty  much  afraid.” 
At  last  Kim’s  master  very  kindly  gave  him  per- 
mission to  accompany  me,  and  the  servant  difficulty 
was  surmounted. 

My  preparations  were  now  almost  completed,  pro- 
visions bought,  horses  hired,  and  saddles  overhauled. 
The  Japanese  authorities  had  made  no  sign,  but  they 
knew  what  was  going  on.  It  seemed  likely  that  they 
would  stop  me  when  I started  out 


JOURNEY  TO  “ RIGHTEOUS  ARMY”  179 


Then  fortune  favoured  me.  A cablegram  arrived 
for  me  from  London.  It  was  brief  and  emphatic  : — 

“ Proceed  forthwith  Siberia.” 

My  expedition  was  abandoned,  the  horses  sent  away, 
and  the  saddles  thrown  into  a corner.  I cabled 
home  that  I would  soon  be  back.  I made  the 
hotel  ring  with  my  public  and  private  complaints 
about  this  interference  with  my  plans.  I visited  the 
shipping  offices  to  learn  of  the  next  steamer  to  Vladi- 
vostock. 

A few  hours  before  I was  to  start  for  the  south  I 
chanced  to  meet  an  old  friend,  who  questioned  me 
confidentially,  “ I suppose  it  is  really  true  that  you 
are  going  away,  and  that  this  is  not  a trick  on  your 
part  ? ” I left  him  thoughtful,  for  his  words  had 
shown  me  the  splendid  opportunity  in  my  hands. 
Early  next  morning,  long  before  dawn,  my  ponies 
came  back,  the  boys  assembled,  the  saddles  were 
quickly  fixed  and  the  packs  adjusted,  and  soon  we 
were  riding  as  hard  as  we  could  for  the  mountains. 
The  regrettable  part  of  the  affair  is  that  many 
people  are  still  convinced  that  the  whole  business 
of  the  cablegram  was  arranged  by  me  in  advance 
as  a blind,  and  no  assurances  of  mine  will  convince 
them  to  the  contrary. 

As  in  duty  bound,  I sent  word  to  the  acting 
British  Consul-General,  telling  him  of  my  departure. 
My  letter  was  not  delivered  to  him  until  after  I had 
left.  On  my  return  I found  his  reply  awaiting  me  at 
my  hotel. 


i8o 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


“ I consider  it  my  duty  to  inform  you,”  he  wrote 
“that  I received  a communication  on  the  7th  inst. 
from  the  Residency-General  informing  me  that,  in 
view  of  the  disturbed  conditions  in  the  interior,  it  is 
deemed  inadvisable  that  foreign  subjects  should  be 
allowed  to  travel  in  the  disturbed  districts  for  the 
present.  I would  also  call  your  attention  to  the 
stipulation  in  Article  V.  of  the  treaty  between  Great 
Britain  and  Korea,  under  which  British  subjects 
travelling  in  the  interior  of  the  country  without  a 
passport  are  liable  to  arrest  and  to  a penalty.” 

In  Seoul  no  one  could  tell  where  or  how  the 
“ Righteous  Army  ” might  be  found.  The  informa- 
tion doled  out  by  the  Japanese  authorities  was 
fragmentary,  and  was  obviously  and  naturally 
framed  in  such  a manner  as  to  minimise  and  dis- 
credit the  disturbances.  It  was  admitted  that  the 
Korean  volunteers  had  a day  or  two  earlier 
destroyed  a small  railway  station  on  the  line  to 
Fusan.  We  knew  that  a small  party  of  them  had 
attacked  the  Japanese  guard  of  a store  of  rifles,  not 
twenty  miles  from  the  capital,  and  had  driven  them 
off  and  captured  the  arms  and  ammunition.  Most 
of  the  fighting,  so  far  as  one  could  judge,  appeared  to 
have  been  around  the  town  of  Chung-ju,  four  days’ 
journey  from  Seoul.  It  was  for  there  I aimed, 
travelling  by  an  indirect  bridle-path  in  order  to  avoid 
the  Japanese  as  far  as  possible. 

The  country  in  which  I soon  found  myself  pre- 
sented a field  of  industry  and  of  prosperity  such  as 
I have  seen  nowhere  else  in  Korea.  Between  the 
somewhat  desolate  mountain  ranges  and  great 


JOURNEY  TO  “RIGHTEOUS  ARMY”  181 


stretches  of  sandy  soil  we  came  upon  innumerable 
thriving  villages.  Every  possible  bit  of  land,  right 
up  the  hillsides,  was  carefully  cultivated.  Here  were 
stretches  of  cotton,  with  bursting  pods  all  ready  for 
picking,  and  here  great  fields  of  buckwheat  white 
with  flower.  The  two  most  common  crops  were  rice 
and  barley,  and  the  fields  were  heavy  with  their 
harvest.  Near  the  villages  one  would  see  more 
ornamental  lines  of  chilies  and  beans  and  seed  plants 
for  oil,  with  occasional  clusters  of  kowliang,  fully 
twelve  and  thirteen  feet  high. 

In  the  centre  of  the  fields  was  a double-storied 
summer-house,  made  of  straw,  the  centre  of  a system 
of  high  ropes,  decked  with  bits  of  rag,  running  over 
the  crops  in  all  directions.  Two  lads  would  sit  on 
the  upper  floor  of  each  of  these  houses,  pulling  the 
ropes,  flapping  the  rags,  and  making  all  kinds  of 
harsh  noises,  to  frighten  away  the  birds  preying  on 
the  crops. 

The  villages  themselves  were  pictures  of  beauty 
and  of  peace.  Most  of  them  were  surrounded  by  a 
high  fence  of  wands  and  matting.  At  the  entrance 
there  sometimes  stood  the  village  “joss,”  although 
many  villages  have  now  destroyed  their  idols.  This 
“ joss  ” is  a thick  stake  of  wood,  six  or  eight  feet 
high,  with  the  upper  part  roughly  carved  into  the 
shape  of  a very  ugly  human  face,  and  crudely 
coloured  in  vermilion  and  green.  It  is  supposed  to 
frighten  away  the  evil  spirits. 

The  village  houses,  low,  mud-walled,  and  thatch- 
roofed,  were  seen  this  season  at  their  best.  Gay 
flowers  grew  around.  Melons  and  pumpkins, 


182 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


weighted  with  fruit,  ran  over  the  walls.  Nearly 
every  roof  displayed  a patch  of  vivid  scarlet,  for  the 
chilies  had  just  been  gathered,  and  were  spread  out 
on  the  housetops  to  dry.  In  front  of  the  houses  were 
boards  covered  with  sliced  pumpkins  and  gherkins 
drying  in  the  sun  for  winter  use.  Every  courtyard 
had  its  line  of  black  earthenware  jars,  four  to  six  feet 
high,  stored  with  all  manner  of  good  things,  mostly 
preserved  vegetables  of  many  varieties,  for  the  coming 
year. 

I had  heard  much  of  the  province  of  Chung- 
Chong-Do  as  the  Italy  of  Korea,  but  its  beauty  and 
prosperity  required  seeing  to  be  believed.  It  afforded 
an  amazing  contrast  to  the  dirt  and  apathy  of  Seoul. 
Here  every  one  worked.  In  the  fields  the  young 
women  were  toiling  in  groups,  weeding  or  har- 
vesting. The  young  men  were  cutting  bushes  on  the 
hillsides,  the  father  of  the  family  preparing  new 
ground  for  the  fresh  crop,  and  the  very  children 
frightening  off  the  birds.  At  home  the  housewife 
was  busy  with  her  children  and  preparing  her 
simples  and  stores ; and  even  the  old  men  busied 
themselves  over  light  tasks,  such  as  mat-making. 
Every  one  seemed  prosperous,  busy,  and  happy. 
There  were  no  signs  of  poverty.  The  uprising  had 
not  touched  this  district,  save  in  the  most  incidental 
fashion. 

My  inquiries  as  to  where  I should  find  any  signs 
of  the  fighting  always  met  with  the  same  reply — 
“The  Japanese  have  been  to  I-Chhon,  and  have 
burned  many  villages  there.”  So  we  pushed  on  for 
I-Chhon  as  hard  as  we  could. 


THE  STRONG  HAND  OF  JAPAN  : THE  REMAINS  OF  A VILLAGE  INN 


JOURNEY  TO  “RIGHTEOUS  ARMY”  183 


The  chief  problem  that  faces  the  traveller  in  Korea 
who  ventures  away  from  the  railways  is  the  question 
of  how  to  hasten  the  speed  of  his  party.  “You 
cannot  travel  faster  than  your  pack,”  is  one  of  those 
indisputable  axioms  against  which  the  impatient 
man  frets  in  vain.  Now,  the  pack-pony  is  led  by  a 
horseman,  who  really  controls  the  situation.  If  he 
sulks  and  determines  to  go  slowly  nothing  can  be 
done.  If  he  hurries,  the  whole  party  must  move 
quickly. 

The  Korean  mafoo  regards  seventy  li  (about 
twenty-one  miles)  as  a fair  day’s  work.  He  prefers 
to  average  sixty  li,  but  if  you  are  very  insistent  he 
may  go  eighty.  It  was  imperative  that  I should  cover 
from  a hundred  to  a hundred  and  twenty  li  a day. 

I tried  a mixture  of  harsh  words,  praise,  and 
liberal  tips.  I was  up  at  three  in  the  morning, 
setting  the  boys  to  work  at  cooking  the  animals’ 
food,  and  I kept  them  on  the  road  until  dark.  Still 
the  record  was  not  satisfactory.  It  is  necessary  in 
Korea  to  allow  at  least  six  hours  each  day  for  the 
cooking  of  the  horses’  food  and  feeding  them.  This 
is  a time  that  no  wise  traveller  attempts  to  cut. 
Including  feeding-times,  we  were  on  the  go  from 
sixteen  to  eighteen  hours  a day.  Notwithstanding 
this,  the  most  we  had  reached  was  a hundred  and 
ten  li  a day. 

Then  came  a series  of  little  hindrances.  The 
pack-pony  would  not  eat  its  dinner ; its  load  was 
too  heavy.  “ Hire  a boy  to  carry  part  of  its  load,”  I 
replied.  A hundred  reasons  would  be  found  for 
halting,  and  still  more  for  slow  departure. 


1 84  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


It  was  clear  that  something  more  must  be  done. 
I called  the  pack-pony  leader  on  one  side.  He  was  a 
fine,  broad-framed  giant,  a man  who  had  in  his  time 
gone  through  many  fights  and  adventures.  “You 
and  I understand  one  another,”  I said  to  him. 
“ These  others  with  their  moanings  and  cries  are 
but  as  children.  Now  let  us  make  a compact.  You 
hurry  all  the  time  and  I will  give  you  ” (here  I 
whispered  a figure  into  his  ear  that  sent  a gratified 
smile  over  his  face)  “ at  the  end  of  the  journey.  The 
others  need  know  nothing.  This  is  between  men.” 
He  nodded  assent.  From  that  moment  the  trouble 
was  over.  Footsore  mafoos,  lame  horses,  grumbling 
inn-keepers — nothing  mattered.  “ Let  the  fires  burn 
quickly.”  “ Out  with  the  horses.”  The  other  horse- 
keepers,  not  understanding  his  changed  attitude, 
toiled  wearily  after  him.  At  night-time  he  would 
look  up,  as  he  led  his  pack-pony  in  at  the  end  of 
a record  day,  and  his  grim  smile  would  proclaim  that 
he  was  keeping  his  end  of  the  bargain. 


CHAPTER  XVI 


THE  STRONG  HAND  OF  JAPAN 

“ T T is  necessary  for  us  to  show  these  men  some- 

1 thing  of  the  strong  hand  of  Japan,”  one  of  the 
leading  Japanese  in  Seoul,  a close  associate  of  the 
Prince  Ito,  told  me  shortly  before  I left  that  city. 
“ The  people  of  the  eastern  mountain  districts  have 
seen  few  or  no  Japanese  soldiers,  and  they  have  no 
idea  of  our  strength.  We  must  convince  them  how 
strong  we  are.” 

As  I stood  on  a mountain-pass,  looking  down  on 
the  valley  leading  to  I-Chhon,  I recalled  these  words 
of  my  friend.  The  “strong  hand  of  Japan”  was 
certainly  being  shown  here.  I beheld  in  front  of  me 
village  after  village  reduced  to  ashes. 

I rode  down  to  the  nearest  heap  of  ruins.  The 
place  had  been  quite  a large  village,  with  probably 
seventy  or  eighty  houses.  Destruction,  thorough  and 
complete,  had  fallen  upon  it.  Not  a single  house  was 
left,  and  not  a single  wall  of  a house.  Every  pot  with 
the  winter  stores  was  broken.  The  very  earthen  fire- 
places were  wrecked. 

The  villagers  had  come  back  to  the  ruins  again, 
and  were  already  rebuilding.  They  had  put  up 


1 86  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

temporary  refuges  of  straw.  The  young  men  were 
out  on  the  hills  cutting  wood,  and  every  one  else  was 
toiling  at  house-making.  The  crops  were  ready  to 
harvest,  but  there  was  no  time  to  gather  them  in. 
First  of  all,  make  a shelter. 

During  the  next  few  days  sights  like  these  were  to 
be  too  common  to  arouse  much  emotion.  But  for 
the  moment  I looked  around  on  these  people,  ruined 
and  homeless,  with  quick  pity.  The  old  men,  vener- 
able and  dignified,  as  Korean  old  men  mostly  are,  the 
young  wives,  many  with  babes  at  their  breasts,  the 
sturdy  men,  they  formed,  if  I could  judge  by  what  I 
saw,  an  exceptionally  clean  and  peaceful  community. 

There  was  no  house  in  which  I could  rest,  so  I sat 
down  under  a tree,  and  while  Min  Gun  was  cooking 
my  dinner  the  village  eiders  came  around  with  their 
story.  One  thing  especially  struck  me.  Usually  the 
Korean  woman  is  shy,  retiring,  and  afraid  to  open  her 
mouth  in  the  presence  of  a stranger.  Here  the  women 
spoke  up  as  freely  as  the  men.  The  great  calamity 
had  broken  down  the  barriers  of  their  silence. 

“ We  are  glad,”  they  said,  “ that  a European  man 
has  come  to  see  what  has  befallen  us.  We  hope  you 
will  tell  your  people,  so  that  all  men  may  know. 

“ There  has  been  some  fighting  on  the  hills  beyond 
our  village,”  and  they  pointed  to  the  hills  a mile  or 
two  further  on.  “The  Eui-pyung”  (the  volunteers) 
“ had  been  there,  and  had  torn  up  some  telegraph 
poles.  The  Eui-pyung  came  down  from  the  eastern 
hills.  They  were  not  our  men,  and  had  nothing  to 
do  with  us.  The  Japanese  soldiers  came,  and  there 
was  a fight,  and  the  Eui-pyung  fell  back. 


THE  STRONG  HAND  OF  JAPAN  187 


“Then  the  Japanese  soldiers  marched  out  to  our 
village,  and  to  seven  other  villages.  Look  around 
and  you  can  see  the  ruins  of  all.  They  spoke  many 
harsh  words  to  us.  ‘ The  Eui-pyung  broke  down  the 
telegraph  poles  and  you  did  not  stop  them,’  they 
said.  1 Therefore  you  are  all  the  same  as  Eui-pyung. 
Why  have  you  eyes  if  you  do  not  watch,  why  have 
you  strength  if  you  do  not  prevent  the  Eui-pyung 
from  doing  mischief?  The  Eui-pyung  came  to  your 
houses  and  you  fed  them.  They  have  gone,  but  we 
will  punish  you.’ 

“ And  they  went  from  house  to  house,  taking  what 
they  wanted  and  setting  all  alight.  One  old  man — 
he  had  lived  in  his  house  since  he  was  a babe  suckled 
by  his  mother — saw  a soldier  lighting  up  his  house. 
He  fell  on  his  knees  and  caught  the  foot  of  the 
soldier.  ‘ Excuse  me,  excuse  me,’  he  said,  with  many 
tears.  ‘ Please  do  not  burn  my  house.  Leave  it  for 
me  that  I may  die  there.  I am  an  old  man,  and  near 
my  end.’ 

“ The  soldier  tried  to  shake  him  off,  but  the  old 
man  prayed  the  more.  ‘ Excuse  me,  excuse  me,’  he 
moaned.  Then  the  soldier  lifted  his  gun  and  shot 
the  old  man,  and  we  buried  him. 

“ One  who  was  near  to  her  hour  of  child-birth  was 
lying  in  a house.  Alas  for  her  ! One  of  our  young 
men  was  working  in  the  field  cutting  grass.  He  was 
working  and  had  not  noticed  the  soldiers  come.  He 
lifted  his  knife,  sharpening  it  in  the  sun.  ‘ There  is  a 
Eui-pyung,’  he  said,  and  he  fired  and  killed  him. 
One  man,  seeing  the  fire,  noticed  that  all  his  family 
records  were  burning.  He  rushed  in  to  try  and 


1 88  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

pull  them  out,  but  as  he  rushed  a soldier  fired,  and 
he  fell.” 

A man,  whose  appearance  proclaimed  him  to  be  of 
a higher  class  than  most  of  the  villagers,  then  spoke 
in  bitter  tones.  “ We  are  rebuilding  our  houses,”  he 
said,  “ but  of  what  use  is  it  for  us  to  do  so  ? I was  a 
man  of  family.  My  fathers  and  fathers’  fathers  had 
their  record.  Our  family  papers  are  destroyed. 
Henceforth  we  are  a people  without  a name,  dis- 
graced and  outcast.” 

I found,  when  I went  further  into  the  country,  that 
this  view  was  fairly  common.  The  Koreans  regard 
their  family  existence  with  peculiar  veneration.  The 
family  record  means  everything  to  them.  When  it 
is  destroyed,  the  family  is  wiped  out.  It  no  longer 
exists,  even  though  there  are  many  members  of  it 
still  li  ing.  As  the  province  of  Chung-Chong  Do 
prides  itself  on  the  large  number  of  its  substantial 
families,  there  could  be  no  more  effective  way  of 
striking  at  them  than  this. 

I rode  out  of  the  village  heavy-hearted.  What 
struck  me  most  about  this  form  of  punishment,  how- 
ever, was  not  the  suffering  of  the  villagers  so  much 
as  the  futility  of  the  proceedings,  from  the  Japanese 
point  of  view.  In  place  of  pacifying  a people,  they 
were  turning  hundreds  of  quiet  families  into  rebels. 
During  the  next  few  days  I was  to  see  at  least 
one  town  and  many  scores  of  villages  treated 
as  this  one.  To  what  end?  The  villagers  were 
certainly  not  the  people  fighting  the  Japanese.  All 
they  wanted  to  do  was  to  look  quietly  after  their 
own  affairs.  Japan  professes  a desire  to  conciliate 


IN'  THE  WAKE  OF  THE  JAPANESE  ARMY  : A BURNT-OUT  TOWN  OF  KOREA. 


THE  STRONG  HAND  OF  JAPAN  189 


Korea  and  to  win  the  affection  and  support  of  her 
people.  In  one  province  at  least  the  policy  of  house- 
burning has  reduced  a prosperous  community  to  ruin, 
increased  the  rebel  forces,  and  sown  a crop  of  bitter 
hatred  which  it  will  take  generations  to  root  out. 

We  rode  on  through  village  after  village  and  hamlet 
after  hamlet  burned  to  the  ground.  The  very  attitude 
of  the  people  told  me  that  the  hand  of  J apan  had  struck 
hard  there.  We  would  come  upon  a boy  carrying  a 
load  of  wood.  He  would  run  quickly  to  the  side  of 
the  road  when  he  saw  us,  expecting  he  knew  not 
what.  We  passed  a village  with  a few  houses  left. 
The  women  flew  to  shelter  as  I drew  near.  Some 
of  the  stories  that  I heard  later  helped  me  to  judge 
why  they  should  run.  Of  course  they  took  me  for 
a Japanese. 

All  along  the  route  I heard  tales  of  the  Japanese 
plundering,  where  they  had  not  destroyed.  Here 
the  village  elders  would  bring  me  an  old  man  badly 
beaten  by  a Japanese  soldier  because  he  resisted 
being  robbed.  Then  came  darker  stories.  In  Seoul 
I had  laughed  at  them.  Now,  face  to  face  with  the 
victims,  I could  laugh  no  more. 

That  afternoon  we  rode  into  I-Chhon  itself.  This 
is  quite  a large  town.  I found  it  practically  deserted. 
Most  of  the  people  had  fled  to  the  hills,  to  escape 
from  the  Japanese.  I slept  that  night  in  a school- 
house,  now  deserted  and  unused.  There  were  the 
cartoons  and  animal  pictures  and  pious  mottoes 
around,  but  the  children  were  far  away.  I passed 
through  the  market-place,  usually  a very  busy  spot. 
There  was  no  sign  of  life  there. 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


190 

I turned  to  some  of  the  Koreans. 

“ Where  are  your  women  ? Where  are  your  chil- 
dren ? ” I demanded.  They  pointed  to  the  high  and 
barren  hills  looming  against  the  distant  heavens. 

“ They  are  up  there,”  they  said.  “ Better  for  them 
to  lie  on  the  barren  hillsides  than  to  be  outraged 
here.” 


CHAPTER  XVII 


THE  RUINS  OF  CHEE-CHONG 

DAY  after  day  we  travelled  through  a succession 
of  burned-out  villages,  deserted  towns,  and 
forsaken  country.  The  fields  were  covered  with  a 
rich  and  abundant  harvest,  ready  to  be  gathered, 
and  impossible  for  the  invaders  to  destroy.  But 
most  of  the  farmers  were  hiding  on  the  mountain- 
sides, fearing  to  come  down.  The  few  courageous 
men  who  had  ventured  to  come  back  were  busy 
erecting  temporary  shelters  for  themselves  before 
the  winter  cold  came  on,  and  had  to  let  the  harvest 
wait.  Great  flocks  of  birds  hung  over  the  crops, 
feasting  undisturbed. 

Up  to  Chong-ju  nearly  one-half  of  the  villages 
on  the  direct  line  of  route  had  been  destroyed  by 
the  Japanese.  At  Chong-ju  I struck  directly  across 
the  mountains  to  Chee-chong,  a day’s  journey. 
Four-fifths  of  the  villages  and  hamlets  on  the  main 
road  between  these  two  places  were  burned  to  the 
ground. 

The  few  people  who  had  returned  to  the  ruins 
always  disclaimed  any  connection  with  the  “ Righ- 
teous Army.”  They  had  taken  no  part  in  the  fight- 


192  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 

ing,  they  said.  The  volunteers  had  come  down 
from  the  hills  and  had  attacked  the  Japanese ; the 
Japanese  had  then  retaliated  by  punishing  the  local 
residents.  The  fact  that  the  villagers  had  no  arms, 
and  were  peaceably  working  at  home-building, 
seemed  at  the  time  to  show  the  truth  of  their 
words.  Afterwards  when  I came  up  with  the  Korean 
fighters  I found  these  statements  confirmed.  The 
rebels  were  mostly  townsmen  from  Seoul,  and  not 
villagers  from  that  district. 

Between  10,000  and  20,000  people  had  been  driven 
to  the  hills  in  this  small  district  alone,  either  by  the 
destruction  of  their  homes  or  because  of  fear  excited 
by  the  acts  of  the  soldiers. 

Soon  after  leaving  I-Chhon  I came  on  a village 
where  the  Red  Cross  was  flying  over  one  of  the 
houses.  The  place  was  a native  Anglican  church. 
I was  later  on  to  see  the  Red  Cross  over  many  houses, 
for  the  people  had  the  idea  that  by  thus  appealing 
to  the  Christians’  God  they  made  a claim  on  the 
pity  and  charity  of  the  Christian  nations. 

In  the  evening,  after  I had  settled  down  in  the 
yard  of  the  native  inn,  the  elders  of  the  Church 
came  to  see  me,  two  quiet-spoken,  grave,  middle- 
aged  men.  They  were  somewhat  downcast,  and 
said  that  their  village  had  suffered  considerably,  the 
parties  of  soldiers  passing  through  having  taken 
what  they  wanted  and  being  guilty  of  some  outrages. 
A gardener’s  wife  had  been  violated  by  a Japanese 
soldier,  another  soldier  standing  guard  over  the 
house  with  rifle  and  fixed  bayonet.  A boy,  at- 
tracted by  the  woman’s  screams,  ran  and  fetched 


Photograph  fey]  ffe  - ■ McKenzie. 

THE  STRONG  HAND  OK  JAPAN  : A MOTHER  MOURNING  HER  TEN-YEAR-OLD 
DAUGHTER  SHOT  BY  THE  JAPANESE  SOLDIERS. 


THE  RUINS  OF  CHEE-CHONG  193 


the  husband.  He  came  up,  knife  in  hand.  “ But 
what  could  he  do?”  the  elders  asked.  “There  was 
the  soldier,  with  rifle  and  bayonet,  before  the  door.” 

Later  on  I was  to  hear  other  stories,  very  similar 
to  this.  These  tales  were  confirmed  on  the  spot,  so 
far  as  confirmation  was  possible.  In  my  judgment 
such  outrages  were  not  numerous,  and  were  limited 
to  exceptional  parties  of  troops.  But  they  produced 
an  effect  altogether  disproportionate  to  their  num- 
bers. The  Korean  has  high  ideals  about  the  sanctity 
of  his  women,  and  the  fear  caused  by  a comparatively 
few  offences  was  largely  responsible  for  the  flight  of 
multitudes  to  the  hills. 

In  the  burning  of  villages,  a certain  number  of 
Korean  women  and  children  were  undoubtedly 
killed.  The  Japanese  troops  seem  in  many  cases  to 
have  rushed  a village  and  to  have  indulged  in  miscel- 
laneous wild  shooting,  on  the  chance  of  there  being 
rebels  around,  before  firing  the  houses.  In  one  hamlet, 
where  I found  two  houses  still  standing,  the  folk 
told  me  that  these  had  been  left  because  the 
Japanese  shot  the  daughter  of  the  owner  of  one  of 
them,  a girl  of  ten.  “When  they  shot  her,”  the 
villagers  said,  “ we  approached  the  soldiers,  and 
said,  ‘ Please  excuse  us,  but  since  you  have  killed 
the  daughter  of  this  man  you  should  not  burn  his 
house.’  And  the  soldiers  listened  to  us.” 

In  towns  like  Chong-ju  and  Won-ju  practically  all 
the  women  and  children  and  better-class  families  had 
disappeared.  The  shops  were  shut  and  barricaded 
by  their  owners  before  leaving,  but  many  of  them 
had  been  forced  open  and  looted.  The  destruction  in 


194 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


other  towns  paled  to  nothing,  however,  before  the 
havoc  wrought  in  Chee-chong.  Here  was  a town 
completely  destroyed. 

Chee-chong  was,  up  to  the  late  summer  of  this 
year,  an  important  rural  centre,  containing  between 
2,000  and  3,000  inhabitants,  and  beautifully  situ- 
ated in  a sheltered  plain,  surrounded  by  high 
mountains.  It  was  a favourite  resort  of  high 
officials,  a Korean  Bath  or  Cheltenham.  Many  of 
the  houses  were  large,  and  some  had  tiled  roofs — a 
sure  evidence  of  wealth. 

When  the  “ Righteous  Army  ” began  operations, 
one  portion  of  it  occupied  the  hills  beyond  Chee- 
chong.  The  Japanese  sent  a small  body  of  troops 
into  the  town.  These  were  attacked  one  night  on 
three  sides,  several  were  killed,  and  the  others  were 
compelled  to  retire.  The  Japanese  despatched  rein- 
forcements, and  after  some  fighting  regained  lost 
ground.  They  then  determined  to  make  Chee-chong 
an  example  to  the  countryside.  The  entire  town 
was  put  to  the  torch.  The  soldiers  carefully  tended 
the  flames,  piling  up  everything  for  destruction. 
Nothing  was  left,  save  one  image  of  Buddha  and 
the  magistrate’s  yamen.  When  the  Koreans  fled,  five 
men,  one  woman,  and  a child,  all  wounded,  were  left 
behind.  These  disappeared  in  the  flames. 

It  was  a hot  early  autumn  when  I reached  Chee- 
chong.  The  brilliant  sunshine  revealed  a Japanese 
flag  waving  over  a hillock  commanding  the  town,  and 
glistened  against  the  bayonet  of  a Japanese  sentry. 
I dismounted  and  walked  down  the  streets  and  over 
the  heaps  of  ashes.  Never  have  I witnessed  such  com- 


THE  RUINS  OF  CHEE-CHONG  195 


plete  destruction.  Where  a month  before  there  had 
been  a busy  and  prosperous  community,  there  was 
now  nothing  but  lines  of  little  heaps  of  black  and  grey 
dust  and  cinders.  Not  a whole  wall,  not  a beam,  and 
not  an  unbroken  jar  remained.  Here  and  there  a 
man  might  be  seen  poking  among  the  ashes,  seeking 
for  aught  of  value.  The  search  was  vain.  Chee- 
chong  had  been  wiped  off  the  map.  “ Where  are 
your  people  ? ” I asked  the  few  searchers.  “ They 
are  lying  on  the  hillsides,”  came  the  reply. 

Up  to  this  time  I had  not  met  a single  rebel  soldier, 
and  very  few  Japanese.  My  chief  meeting  with  the 
Japanese  occurred  the  previous  day  at  Chong-ju.  As 
I approached  that  town,  I noticed  that  its  ancient 
walls  were  broken  down.  The  stone  arches  of  the 
city  gates  were  left,  but  the  gates  themselves  and 
most  of  the  walls  had  gone.  A Japanese  sentry  and 
a gendarme  stood  at  the  gateway,  and  cross-examined 
me  as  I entered.  A small  body  of  Japanese  troops 
were  stationed  here,  and  operations  in  the  country 
around  were  apparently  directed  from  this  centre. 

I at  once  called  upon  the  Japanese  Colonel  in 
charge.  His  room,  a great  apartment  in  the  local 
governor’s  yamen,  showed  on  all  sides  evidences  of 
the  thoroughness  with  which  the  Japanese  are  con- 
ducting this  campaign.  Large  maps,  with  red  marks, 
revealed  strategic  positions  now  occupied.  A little 
printed  pamphlet,  with  maps,  evidently  for  the  use  of 
officers,  lay  on  the  table. 

The  Colonel  received  me  politely,  but  expressed  his 
regrets  that  I had  come.  The  men  he  was  fighting  were 
mere  robbers,  he  said,  and  there  was  nothing  for  me 


196  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


to  see.  He  gave  me  various  warnings  about  dangers 
ahead.  Then  he  very  kindly  explained  that  the 
Japanese  plan  was  to  hem  in  the  volunteers,  two 
sections  of  troops  operating  from  either  side  and 
making  a circle  around  the  seat  of  trouble.  These 
would  unite  and  gradually  drive  the  Koreans 
towards  a centre. 

The  maps  which  the  Colonel  showed  me  settled 
my  movements.  A glance  at  them  made  clear  that 
the  Japanese  had  not  yet  occupied  the  line  of  country 
between  Chee-chong  and  Won-ju.  Here,  then,  was 
the  place  where  I must  go  if  I would  meet  the 
Korean  bands.  So  it  was  towards  Won-ju  that  I 
turned  our  horses’  heads  on  the  following  day,  after 
gazing  on  the  ruins  of  Chee-chong. 


CHAPTER  XVIII 


WITH  THE  REBELS 

IT  soon  became  evident  that  I was  very  near  to  the 
Korean  forces.  At  one  place,  not  far  from 
Chee-Chong,  a party  of  them  had  arrived  two  days 
before  I passed,  and  had  demanded  arms.  A little 
further  on  Koreans  and  Japanese  had  narrowly 
escaped  meeting  in  the  village  street,  not  many 
hours  before  I stopped  there.  As  I approached  one 
hamlet,  the  inhabitants  fled  into  the  high  corn,  and 
on  my  arrival  not  a soul  was  to  be  found.  They 
mistook  me  for  a Japanese  out  on  a shooting  and 
burning  expedition. 

It  now  became  more  difficult  to  obtain  carriers. 
Our  ponies  were  showing  signs  of  fatigue,  for  we 
were  using  them  very  hard  over  the  mountainous 
country.  It  was  impossible  to  hire  fresh  animals,  as 
the  Japanese  had  commandeered  all.  Up  to  YVon-ju 
I had  to  pay  double  the  usual  rate  for  my  carriers. 
From  Won-ju  onwards  carriers  absolutely  refused 
to  go  further,  whatever  the  pay. 

“ On  the  road  beyond  here  many  bad  men  are  to 
be  found,”  they  told  me  at  Won-ju.  “ These  bad 
men  shoot  every  one  who  passes.  We  will  not  go 

197 


198  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


to  be  shot.”  My  own  boys  were  showing  some 
uneasiness.  Fortunately,  I had  in  my  personal  ser- 
vant Min  Gun,  and  in  the  leader  of  the  pack-pony 
two  of  the  staunchest  Koreans  I have  ever  known. 

The  country  beyond  Won-ju  was  splendidly  suited 
for  an  ambuscade,  such  as  the  people  there  promised 
me.  The  road  was  rocky  and  broken,  and  largely 
lay  through  a narrow,  winding  valley,  with  over- 
hanging cliffs.  Now  we  would  come  on  a splendid 
gorge,  evidently  of  volcanic  origin ; now  we  would 
pause  to  chip  a bit  of  gold-bearing  quartz  from  the 
rocks,  for  this  is  a famous  gold  centre  of  Korea.  An 
army  might  have  been  hidden  securely  around. 

Twilight  was  just  gathering  as  we  stopped  at  a 
small  village  where  we  intended  remaining  for  the 
night.  The  people  were  sullen  and  unfriendly,  a 
striking  contrast  to  what  I had  found  elsewhere.  In 
other  parts  they  all  came  and  welcomed  me,  some- 
times refusing  to  take  payment  for  the  accommodation 
they  supplied.  “We  are  glad  that  a white  man  has 
come.”  But  in  this  village  the  men  gruffly  informed 
me  that  there  was  not  a scrap  of  horse  food  or  of  rice 
to  be  had.  They  advised  us  to  go  on  to  another 
place,  fifteen  li  ahead. 

We  started  out.  When  we  had  ridden  a little  way 
from  the  village  I chanced  to  glance  back  at  some 
trees  skirting  a corn-field.  A man,  half-hidden  by 
a bush,  was  fumbling  with  something  in  his  hands, 
something  which  he  held  down  as  I turned.  I took 
it  to  be  the  handle  of  a small  reaping-knife,  but  it 
was  growing  too  dark  to  see  clearly.  A minute 
later,  however,  there  came  a smart  “ ping  ” past 


VILLAGE  DESTROYED  BY  THE  JAPANESE  ARMY. 


WITH  THE  REBELS 


199 


my  ear,  followed  by  the  thud  of  a bullet  striking 
metal. 

I turned,  but  the  man  had  disappeared.  It  would 
have  been  merely  foolish  to  blaze  back  with  a '380 
Colt  at  a distance  of  over  a hundred  yards,  and  there 
was  no  time  to  go  back.  So  we  continued  on  our  way. 

Before  arriving  at  Won-ju  we  had  been  told  that 
we  would  certainly  find  the  Righteous  Army  around 
there.  At  Won-ju  men  said  that  it  was  at  a place 
fifteen  or  twenty  miles  ahead.  When  we  reached 
that  distance  we  were  directed  onwards  to  Yan-gun. 
We  walked  into  Yan-gun  one  afternoon,  only  to  be 
again  disappointed.  Here,  however,  we  learned  that 
there  had  been  a fight  that  same  morning  at  a village 
fifteen  miles  nearer  Seoul,  and  that  the  Koreans  had 
been  defeated. 

Yan-gun  presented  a remarkable  sight.  A dozen 
red  crosses  waved  over  houses  at  different  points. 
In  the  main  street  every  shop  was  closely  barricaded, 
and  a cross  was  pasted  on  nearly  every  door.  These 
crosses,  roughly  painted  on  paper  in  red  ink,  were 
obtained  from  the  elder  of  the  Roman  Catholic 
church  there.  A week  before  some  Japanese 
soldiers  had  arrived  and  burned  a few  houses.  They 
spared  one  house  close  to  them  waving  a Christian 
cross.  As  soon  as  the  Japanese  left  nearly  every 
one  pasted  a cross  over  his  door. 

At  first  Yan-gun  seemed  deserted.  The  people 
were  watching  me  from  behind  the  shelter  of  their 
doors.  Then  men  and  boys  crept  out,  and  gradually 
approached.  We  soon  made  friends.  The  women  had 
fled.  I settled  down  that  afternoon  in  the  garden  of 


200 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


a Korean  house  of  the  better  type.  My  boy  was 
preparing  my  supper  in  the  front  courtyard,  when 
he  suddenly  dropped  everything  to  rush  to  me. 
“ Master,”  he  cried,  highly  excited,  “ the  Righteous 
Army  has  come.  Here  are  the  soldiers.” 

In  another  moment  half  a dozen  of  them  entered 
the  garden,  formed  in  line  in  front  of  me  and  saluted. 
They  were  all  lads,  from  eighteen  to  twenty-six. 
One,  a bright-faced,  handsome  youth,  still  wore  the 
old  uniform  of  the  regular  Korean  Army.  Another 
had  a pair  of  military  trousers.  Two  of  them  were 
in  slight,  ragged  Korean  dress.  Not  one  had  leather 
boots.  Around  their  waists  were  home-made  cotton 
cartridge  belts,  half  full.  One  wore  a kind  of  tar- 
boosh on  his  head,  and  the  others  had  bits  of  rag 
twisted  round  their  hair. 

I looked  at  the  guns  they  were  carrying.  The  six 
men  had  five  different  patterns  of  weapons,  and  not 
one  of  them  was  any  good.  One  proudly  carried 
an  old  Korean  sporting  gun  of  the  oldest  type  of 
muzzle-loaders  known  to  man.  Around  his  arm 
was  the  long  piece  of  thin  rope  which  he  kept 
smouldering  as  touch-powder,  and  hanging  in  front 
of  him  were  the  powder  horn  and  bullet  bag  for 
loading.  This  sporting  gun  was,  I afterwards  found, 
a common  weapon.  The  ramrod,  for  pressing  down 
the  charge,  was  home-made  and  cut  from  a tree. 
The  barrel  was  rust-eaten.  There  was  only  a strip 
of  cotton  as  a carrying  strap. 

The  second  man  had  an  old  Korean  army  rifle, 
antiquated,  and  a very  bad  specimen  of  its  time. 
The  third  had  the  same.  One  had  a tiny  sporting 


WITH  THE  REBELS 


201 


gun,  the  kind  of  weapon,  warranted  harmless,  that 
fathers  give  to  their  fond  sons  at  the  age  of  ten. 
Another  had  a horse-pistol,  taking  a rifle  cartridge. 
Three  of  the  guns  bore  Chinese  marks.  They  were 
all  eaten  up  with  ancient  rust. 

These  were  the  men — think  of  it — who  for  weeks 
had  been  bidding  defiance  to  the  Japanese  Army! 
Even  now  a Japanese  division  of  regular  soldiers 
was  manoeuvring  to  corral  them  and  their  comrades. 
Three  of  the  party  in  front  of  me  were  coolies.  The 
smart  young  soldier  who  stood  at  the  right  plainly 
acted  as  sergeant,  and  had  done  his  best  to  drill  his 
comrades  into  soldierly  bearing.  A seventh  man 
now  came  in,  unarmed,  a Korean  of  the  better  class, 
well  dressed  in  the  long  robes  of  a gentleman,  but 
thin,  sun-stained  and  wearied  like  the  others. 

A pitiful  group  they  seemed — men  already  doomed 
to  certain  death,  fighting  in  an  absolutely  hopeless 
cause.  But  as  I looked  the  sparkling  eyes  and 
smiles  of  the  sergeant  to  the  right  seemed  to  rebuke 
me.  Pity ! Maybe  my  pity  was  misplaced.  At 
least  they  were  showing  their  countrymen  an 
example  of  patriotism,  however  mistaken  their 
method  of  displaying  it  might  be. 

They  had  a story  to  tell,  for  they  had  been  in  the 
fight  that  morning,  and  had  retired  before  the 
Japanese.  The  Japanese  had  the  better  position, 
and  forty  Japanese  soldiers  had  attacked  200  of 
them  and  they  had  given  way.  But  they  had  killed 
four  Japanese,  and  the  Japanese  had  only  killed 
two  of  them  and  wounded  three  more.  Such  was 
their  account. 


202 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


I did  not  ask  them  why,  when  they  had  killed 
twice  as  many  as  the  enemy,  they  had  yet  retreated. 
The  real  story  of  the  fight  I could  learn  later.  As 
they  talked  others  came  to  join  them — two  old 
men,  one  fully  eighty,  an  old  tiger-hunter,  with 
bent  back,  grizzled  face,  and  patriarchal  beard. 
The  two  new-comers  carried  the  old  Korean  sporting 
rifles.  Other  soldiers  of  the  retreating  force  were 
outside.  There  was  a growing  tumult  in  the  street. 
How  long  would  it  be  before  the  triumphant 
Japanese,  following  up  their  victory,  attacked  the 
town  ? 

I was  not  to  have  much  peace  that  night.  In 
the  street  outside  a hundred  noisy  disputes  were 
proceeding  between  volunteers  and  the  townsfolk. 
The  soldiers  wanted  shelter ; the  people,  fearing  the 
Japanese,  did  not  wish  to  let  them  in.  A party  of 
them  crowded  into  an  empty  building  adjoining  the 
house  where  I was,  and  they  made  the  place  ring 
with  their  disputes  and  recriminations. 

Very  soon  the  officer  who  had  been  in  charge  of 
the  men  during  the  fight  that  day  called  on  me.  He 
was  a comparatively  young  man,  dressed  in  the 
ordinary  long  white  garments  of  the  better-class 
Koreans.  I asked  him  what  precautions  he  had 
taken  against  a night  attack,  for  if  the  Japanese 
knew  where  we  were  they  would  certainly  come  on 
us.  Had  he  any  outposts  placed  in  positions  ? 
Was  the  river-way  guarded  ? “ There  is  no  need  for 

outposts,”  he  replied.  “ Every  Korean  man  around 
watches  for  us.” 

I cross-examined  him  about  the  constitution  of  the 


WITH  THE  REBELS 


203 


rebel  army.  How  were  they  organised  ? From  what 
he  told  me,  it  was  evident  that  they  had  practically 
no  organisation  at  all.  There  were  a number  of 
separate  bands  held  together  by  the  loosest  ties. 
A rich  man  in  each  place  found  the  money.  This  he 
secretly  gave  to  one  or  two  open  rebels,  and  they 
gathered  adherents  around  them. 

He  admitted  that  the  men  were  in  anything  but 
a good  way.  “We  may  have  to  die,”  he  said. 
“ Well,  so  let  it  be.  It  is  much  better  to  die  as 
a free  man  than  to  live  as  the  slave  of  Japan.” 

He  had  not  been  gone  long  before  still  another 
called  on  me,  a middle-aged  Korean  gentleman, 
attended  by  a staff  of  officials.  Here  was  a man 
of  rank,  and  I soon  learned  that  he  was  the 
Commander-in-Chief  for  the  entire  district.  I was  in 
somewhat  of  a predicament.  I had  used  up  all  my 
food,  and  had  not  so  much  as  a cigar  or  a glass  of 
whisky  left  to  offer  him.  One  or  two  flickering 
candles  in  the  covered  courtyard  of  the  inn  lit  up  his 
careworn  face.  I apologised  for  the  rough  surround- 
ings in  which  I received  him,  but  he  immediately 
brushed  my  apologies  aside.  He  complained  bitterly 
of  the  conduct  of  his  subordinate,  who  had  risked  an 
engagement  that  morning  when  he  had  orders  not 
to.  The  commander,  it  appeared,  had  been  called 
back  home  for  a day  on  some  family  affairs,  and 
hurried  back  to  the  front  as  soon  as  he  knew  of  the 
trouble.  He  had  come  to  me  for  a purpose.  “ Our 
men  want  weapons,”  he  said.  “ They  are  as  brave  as 
can  be,  but  you  know  what  their  guns  are  like,  and 
we  have  very  little  ammunition.  We  cannot  buy, 


204 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


but  you  can  go  to  and  fro  freely  as  you  want.  Now, 
you  act  as  our  agent.  Buy  guns  for  us  and  bring 
them  to  us.  Ask  what  money  you  like,  it  does  not 
matter.  Five  thousand  dollars,  ten  thousand  dollars, 
they  are  yours  if  you  will  have  them.  Only  bring 
us  guns ! ” 

I had,  of  course,  to  tell  him  that  I could  not  do 
anything  of  the  kind.  When  he  further  asked  me 
questions  about  the  positions  of  the  Japanese  I was 
forced  to  give  evasive  answers.  To  my  mind,  the 
publicist  who  visits  fighting  forces  in  search  of  informa- 
tion, as  I had  done,  is  in  honour  bound  not  to  com- 
municate what  he  learns  to  the  other  side.  I could 
no  more  tell  the  rebel  leader  of  the  exposed  Japanese 
outposts  I knew,  and  against  which  I could  have  sent 
his  troops  with  the  certainty  of  success,  than  I could 
on  return  tell  the  Japanese  the  strength  of  his  forces. 

All  that  night  the  rebels  dribbled  in.  Several 
wounded  men  who  had  escaped  from  the  fight  the 
previous  day  were  borne  along  by  their  comrades, 
and  early  on  the  following  morning  some  soldiers 
came  and  asked  me  to  do  what  I could  to  heal  them. 
I went  out  and  examined  the  men.  One  had  no  less 
than  five  bullet-holes  in  him  and  yet  seemed  remark- 
ably cheerful.  Two  others  had  single  shots  of  a rather 
more  dangerous  nature.  I do  not  profess  to  be  a 
surgeon,  and  it  was  manifestly  impossible  for  me  to 
jab  into  their  wounds  with  my  hunting-knife  in  the 
hope  of  extracting  the  bullets.  I found,  however, 
some  corrosive  sublimate  tabloids  in  my  leather 
medicine  case.  These  I dissolved,  and  washed  the 
wounds  in  them  to  stop  suppuration.  I had  some 


WITH  THE  REBELS 


205 


Listerine,  and  I washed  their  rags  in  it.  I bound  the 
clean  rags  on  the  wounds,  bade  the  men  lie  still  and 
eat  little,  and  left  them. 

Soon  after  dawn  the  rebel  regiments  paraded  in 
the  streets.  They  reproduced  on  a larger  scale  the 
characteristics  I had  noted  among  the  few  men 
who  came  to  visit  me  the  evening  before,  poor 
weapons  and  little  ammunition.  They  sent  out  men 
in  advance  before  I departed  in  the  morning  to  warn 
their  outposts  that  I was  an  Englishman  who  must  not 
be  injured.  I left  them  with  mutual  good  wishes, 
but  I made  a close  inspection  of  my  party  before  we 
marched  away  to  see  that  all  our  weapons  were  in 
place.  Some  of  my  boys  begged  me  to  give  the 
rebels  our  guns  so  that  they  might  kill  the  Japanese ! 

We  had  not  gone  very  far  before  we  descended 
into  a rocky  and  sandy  plain  by  the  river.  Suddenly 
I heard  one  of  my  boys  shout  at  the  top  of  his 
voice,  as  he  threw  up  his  arms,  “ Ingoa  Tai.”  We 
all  stopped,  and  the  others  took  up  the  cry.  “ What 
does  this  mean  ? ” I asked.  “ Some  rebel  soldiers 
are  surrounding  us,”  said  Min  Gun,  “ and  they  are 
going  to  fire.  They  think  you  are  a Japanese.”  I 
stood  against  the  sky-line  and  pointed  vigorously  to 
myself  to  show  that  they  were  mistaken.  “ Ingoa 
Tai!”  I shouted,  with  my  boys.  It  was  not  dignified, 
but  it  was  very  necessary.  Now  we  could  see  creep- 
ing, ragged  figures  running  from  rock  to  rock,  closer 
and  closer  to  us.  The  rifles  of  some  were  covering 
us  while  the  others  advanced.  Then  a party  of  a 
couple  of  dozen  rose  from  the  ground  near  to  hand, 
with  a young  man  in  a European  officer’s  uniform 


206 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


at  their  head.  They  ran  to  us,  while  we  stood  and 
waited.  At  last  they  saw  who  I was,  and  when  they 
came  near  they  apologised  very  gracefully  for  their 
blunder.  “It  was  fortunate  that  you  shouted  when 
you  did,”  said  one  ugly-faced  young  rebel,  as  he 
slipped  his  cartridge  back  into  his  pouch  ; “ I had  you 
nicely  covered  and  was  just  going  to  shoot”  Some 
of  the  soldiers  in  this  band  were  not  more  than 
fourteen  to  sixteen  years  old.  I made  them  stand 
and  have  their  photographs  taken,  and  the  picture  on 
the  page  opposite  will  show  their  appearances  better 
than  much  description. 

By  noon  I arrived  at  the  place  from  which  the 
Korean  soldiers  had  been  driven  on  the  day  before. 
The  villagers  there  were  regarded  in  very  unfriendly 
fashion  by  the  rebels,  who  thought  they  had 
betrayed  them  to  the  Japanese.  The  villagers  told 
me  what  was  evidently  the  true  story  of  the  fight. 
They  said  that  about  twenty  Japanese  soldiers 
had  on  the  previous  morning  marched  quickly  to 
the  place  and  attacked  200  rebels  there.  One 
Japanese  soldier  was  hurt,  receiving  a flesh 
wound  in  the  arm,  and  five  rebels  were  wounded. 
Three  of  these  latter  got  away,  and  these  were  the 
ones  I had  treated  earlier  in  the  morning.  Two 
others  were  left  on  the  field,  one  badly  shot  in 
the  left  cheek  and  the  other  in  the  right  shoulder. 
To  quote  the  words  of  the  villagers,  “As  the 
Japanese  soldiers  came  up  to  these  wounded  men 
they  were  too  sick  to  speak,  and  they  could  only 
utter  cries  like  animals — ‘Hula,  hula,  hula!’  They 
had  no  weapons  in  their  hands,  and  their  blood  was 


A COMPANY  OF  KOREAN  REBELS. 


WITH  THE  REBELS 


207 


running  on  the  ground.  The  Japanese  soldiers  heard 
their  cries,  and  went  up  to  them  and  stabbed  them 
through  and  through  and  through  again  with  their 
bayonets  until  they  died.  The  men  were  torn  very 
much  with  the  bayonet  stabs,  and  we  had  to  take 
them  up  and  bury  them.”  The  expressive  faces  of 
the  villagers  told  more  eloquently  than  mere  descrip- 
tion how  horrible  the  bayonetting  was. 

Were  this  an  isolated  instance,  it  would  scarcely 
be  necessary  to  mention  it.  But  what  I heard  on 
all  sides  went  to  show  that  in  a large  number  of 
fights  in  the  country  the  Japanese  systematically 
killed  all  the  wounded  and  all  who  surrendered 
themselves.  This  was  not  so  in  every  case,  but  it 
certainly  was  in  very  many.  The  fact  is  confirmed 
by  the  Japanese  accounts  of  many  fights,  where  the 
figures  given  of  Korean  casualties  are  so  many  killed, 
with  no  mention  of  wounded  or  prisoners. 

Another  point  deserves  mention.  In  place  after 
place  the  Japanese,  besides  burning  houses,  shot 
numbers  of  men  whom  they  suspected  of  assisting  the 
rebels.  When  describing  these  executions  to  me  the 
Koreans  always  finished  up  by  mentioning  how,  after 
the  volley  had  been  fired,  the  Japanese  officer  in  com- 
mand of  the  firing  party  went  up  to  the  corpse  and 
plunged  his  sword  into  it  or  hacked  it.  An  English- 
man, of  whose  accuracy  I have  every  reason  to  be 
assured,  heard  the  same  tale.  He  lived  near  a 
Japanese  military  station  on  the  outskirts  of  the 
rebellion,  and  he  attended  one  of  the  executions 
there  to  see  if  this  was  so.  The  prisoner  was  led 
out,  his  hands  tied  behind  him,  and  a Japanese 


208 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


soldier  leading  him  by  a halter  around  the  neck. 
As  they  passed  along  on  their  way  to  the  firing- 
ground  the  Japanese  soldier  noticed  the  watching 
foreigner.  Thereupon  he  deliberately  jerked  the 
halter  to  make  the  prisoner  stumble,  and  then  gave 
him  a heavy  prod  in  the  stomach  with  the  butt-end 
of  his  rifle.  On  this  occasion,  however,  there  was  no 
slashing  of  the  body  after  death. 


THE  STRONG  HAND  OF  JAPAN  : THE  CHIEF  THOROUGHFARE  OF  CHEE-CHONG  BURNT  DOWN  BY  THE 

JAPANESE  TROOPS. 


CHAPTER  XIX 


THE  SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM 

IT  may  be  asked  why  the  Europeans  and  Ameri 
cans  living  in  Korea  did  not  make  the  full  facts 
about  the  Japanese  administration  known  at  an 
earlier  date.  Some  of  them  did  attempt  it,  but  the 
strong  feeling  that  generally  existed  abroad  in  favour 
of  the  Japanese  people — a feeling  due  to  the  magnifi- 
cent conduct  of  the  nation  during  the  war — caused 
complaints  to  go  unheeded.  The  American  Minister 
at  Seoul,  Dr.  Allen,  was  recalled  as  the  indirect  result 
of  an  effort  to  show  his  Government  that  the  Japanese 
claims  and  assumptions  should  not  be  taken  without 
some  critical  examination.  Many  missionaries  in 
Korea,  while  indignant  and  resentful  at  the  injury 
done  to  their  native  neighbours,  counselled  patience, 
and  believed  that  the  abuses  were  temporary  and 
would  soon  come  to  an  end.  It  must  be  remembered 
that,  at  the  beginning  of  the  Russo-Japanese  War, 
every  foreigner  in  the  country,  except  a small  group 
of  pro-Russians,  sympathised  with  Japan.  We  had 
all  been  alienated  by  the  follies  and  mistakes  of  the 
Russian  Far  Eastern  policy  ; we  saw  Japan  at  her 
very  best,  and  we  believed  that  her  people  would  act 

IS  2°9 


210 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


well  by  this  weaker  race.  Our  favourable  impres- 
sions were  strengthened  by  the  first  doings  of  the 
Japanese  soldiers,  and  when  scandals  were  whispered, 
and  oppression  began  to  appear,  we  all  looked  upon 
them  as  momentary  disturbances  due  to  a condition 
of  war.  We  were  unwilling  to  believe  anything  but 
the  best,  and  it  took  some  time  to  destroy  our  favour- 
able prepossessions.  I speak  here  not  only  for 
myself,  but  for  many  another  white  man  in  Korea 
at  the  time. 

I might  support  this  by  many  quotations.  I take, 
for  instance,  Professor  Hulbert,  the  editor  of  the 
Korea  Review , to-day  one  of  the  most  persistent  and 
active  critics  of  Japanese  policy.  At  the  opening  of 
the  war  Professor  Hulbert  used  all  his  influence  in 
favour  of  Japan.  “What  Korea  wants,”  he  wrote, 
“ is  education,  and  until  steps  are  taken  in  that  line 
there  is  no  use  in  hoping  for  a genuinely  independent 
Korea.  Now,  we  believe  that  a large  majority  of 
the  best-informed  Koreans  realise  that  Japan  and 
Japanese  influence  stand  for  education  and  enlighten- 
ment, and  that  while  the  paramount  influence  of  any 
one  outside  Power  is  in  some  sense  a humiliation, 
the  paramount  influence  of  Japan  will  give  far  less 
genuine  cause  for  humiliation  than  has  the  paramount 
influence  of  Russia.  Russia  secured  her  predomi- 
nance by  pandering  to  the  worst  elements  in  Korean 
officialdom.  Japan  holds  it  by  strength  of  arm,  but 
she  holds  it  in  such  a way  that  it  gives  promise  of 
something  better.  The  word  reform  never  passed 
the  Russians’  lips.  It  is  the  insistent  cry  of  Japan. 
The  welfare  of  the  Korean  people  never  showed  its 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  21 1 


head  above  the  Russian  horizon,  but  it  fills  the  whole 
vision  of  Japan  ; not  from  altruistic  motives  mainly 
but  because  the  prosperity  of  Korea  and  that  of 
Japan  rise  and  fall  with  the  same  tide.”  1 

Month  after  month,  when  stories  of  trouble  came 
from  the  interior,  the  Korea  Review  endeavoured  to 
give  the  best  explanation  possible  for  them,  and  to 
reassure  the  public.  It  was  not  until  the  editor  was 
forced  thereto  by  consistent  and  sustained  Japanese 
misgovernment  that  he  reversed  his  attitude. 

Foreign  visitors  of  influence  were  naturally  drawn 
to  the  Japanese  rather  than  to  the  Koreans.  They 
found  in  the  officials  of  the  Residency  General  a body 
of  courteous  and  delightful  men,  who  knew  the  Courts 
of  Europe,  and  were  familiar  with  world  affairs.  On 
the  other  hand,  the  Korean  spokesmen  had  no  power 
or  skill  in  putting  their  case  so  as  to  attract  European 
sympathy.  One  distinguished  foreigner,  who  returned 
home  and  wrote  a book  largely  given  up  to  laudation 
of  the  Japanese  and  contemptuous  abuse  of  the 
Koreans,  admitted  that  he  had  never,  during  his 
journey,  had  any  contact  with  Koreans  save  those 
his  Japanese  guides  brought  to  him.  Some  foreign 
journalists  were  also  at  first  blinded  in  the  same  way. 

Such  a state  of  affairs  obviously  could  not  last. 
Gradually  the  complaints  of  the  foreign  community 
became  louder  and  louder,  and  visiting  publicists 
began  to  take  more  notice  of  them.  Here  they  were 
met  by  a fresh  difficulty.  Editors  at  home  were  as 
unwilling  to  believe  anti- Japanese  stories  as  the 
journalists  themselves  had  been,  and,  in  some  cases 
1 Korea  Review,  February,  1904. 


212 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


known  to  me,  the  criticisms  were  entirely  suppressed 
by  the  home  editors.  This  did  not  always  happen. 
Thus,  the  London  Tribune  permitted  Mr.  Douglas 
Story,  in  the  spring  of  1906,  to  present  the  case  of 
the  Korean  Emperor.  In  the  summer  of  the  same 
year,  the  London  Daily  Mail  printed  several  articles 
by  myself,  giving  a detailed  criticism  of  the  Japanese 
policy,  backed  up  by  numerous  stories  of  outrages 
and  suffering,  and  based  on  a recent  tour  through  the 
country.  It  was  then  uphill  work  to  attempt  to 
make  the  Korean  case  known,  but  there  has  been, 
since  that  time,  a growing  willingness  to  hear  both 
sides  of  the  question.  When,  in  the  autumn  of  1905, 
I spoke  fully  on  the  new  issues,  I was  sharply  taken 
to  task  by  influential  English  journals.  “ It  is  too 
late  to  talk,”  they  said.  “The  thing  is  done.”  No 
single  word  of  encouragement  or  sympathy  was 
uttered.  That  is  now  no  longer  the  case. 

The  main  credit  of  standing  up  for  the  Korean 
people  must  be  given  to  a young  English  journalist, 
Mr.  E.  T.  Bethell,  editor  of  the  Korea  Daily  News. 
In  the  summer  of  1904,  he  settled  in  Seoul  as  tem- 
porary correspondent  of  a London  daily  paper,  and 
started  a modest  bi-lingual  journal,  the  Korea  Daily 
News,  printed  partly  in  English  and  partly  in  Korean. 
The  first  number  was  barely  issued  before  the  nation 
was  agitated  by  the  great  Nagamori  land  question. 
Mr.  Bethell  took  up  an  attitude  of  sharp  hostility  to 
the  granting  of  the  Nagamori  claims,  and  subsequent 
events  have  justified  him.  He  came,  in  consequence, 
into  direct  conflict  with  the  Japanese  Legation,  and 
after  some  attempts  had  been  made  to  win  him  over 


Photograph  by] 


[F.  A.  McKenzie. 


MR.  E.  T.  UETHELL,  EDITOR  OE  THE  KOREA  DAILY  NEWS. 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  213 


or  secure  his  silence,  it  was  resolved  to  crush  him. 
This  naturally  led  to  his  close  association  with  the 
Korean  Court.  The  Daily  News  became  openly  pro- 
Korean  ; its  one  daily  edition  was  changed  into  two 
separate  papers — one,  the  Dai  Han  Mat  II  Shinpo, 
printed  in  the  Korean  language,  and  the  other, 
printed  in  English,  still  calling  itself  by  the  old  name. 
Several  of  us  thought  that  Mr.  Bethell  at  first 
weakened  his  case  by  extreme  advocacy  and  by  his 
indulgence  in  needlessly  vindictive  writing.  Yet  it 
must  be  rememberered,  in  common  justice  to  him,  that 
he  was  playing  a very  difficult  part.  The  Japanese 
were  making  his  life  as  uncomfortable  as  they 
possibly  could,  and  were  doing  everything  to  obstruct 
his  work.  His  mails  were  constantly  tampered  with  ; 
his  servants  were  threatened  or  arrested  on  various 
excuses,  and  his  household  was  subjected  to  the 
closest  espionage.  He  displayed  surprising  tenacity, 
and  held  on  month  after  month  without  showing  any 
sign  of  yielding.  The  complaint  of  extreme  bitterness 
could  not  be  urged  against  his  journal  to  the  same 
extent  after  the  spring  of  1907.  From  that  time  he 
adopted  a more  quiet  and  convincing  tone.  He 
attempted  on  many  occasions  to  restrain  what  he 
considered  the  unwise  tactics  of  some  Korean  ex- 
tremists. He  opposed  the  dispatch  of  the  delegates 
to  the  Hague,  and  he  did  his  best  to  influence 
public  opinion  against  taking  up  arms  to  fight 
Japan. 

Failing  to  conciliate  the  editor,  the  Japanese 
sought  to  destroy  him.  In  order  to  cut  the 
ground  from  under  his  feet  an  opposition  paper, 


214 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


printed  in  English,  was  started.  An  able  Japanese 
journalist,  Mr.  Zumoto,  became  the  editor.  Mr. 
Zumoto  is  well  known  to  all  who  have  followed 
modern  Japanese  affairs  as  Prince  Ito’s  leading 
spokesman  in  the  Press.  A member  of  the  Civil 
Service  and  ambitious  for  a diplomatic  career,  he 
was  taken  from  his  Government  work  first  to  be 
permanent  secretary  to  I to  when  Premier,  and 
then  to  act  as  editor  to  the  Japan  Times , the 
semi-official  Japanese  Government  organ  in  Tokyo. 
When  Ito  was  made  Resident-General  Mr.  Zumoto 
accompanied  him  as  official  member  of  his  staff. 
Let  it  be  said  here  that  few  could  have  done  the 
work  in  Seoul  better  than  Mr.  Zumoto.  A broad- 
minded Japanese,  a man  of  delightful  personality 
and  rich  culture,  he  has  won  the  universal  esteem 
of  all  who  know  him. 

Mr.  Zumoto’s  personal  charms,  however,  failed 
to  enable  his  paper,  the  Seoul  Press , to  supplant 
the  Daily  News.  Here  we  had  and  have  the 
amazing  journalistic  situation  of  two  daily  papers 
being  published  in  the  English  language  in  a 
city  containing  probably  not  more  than  a hundred 
white  men.  One  of  these  papers  is  able  to  keep 
up  a handsome  office,  with  safes,  typewriters, 
and  sumptuous  electric  fittings  that  would  do 
credit  to  a daily  with  a circulation  of  50,000. 
Native  journals  were  also  started  under  Japanese 
editorship,  to  compete  with  the  Dai  Han  Mai  II 
Shinpo.  But  here  again  Mr.  Bethell’s  native 
paper  more  than  held  its  ground,  for  the  Korean 
people,  as  they  have  told  me  in  parts,  regard  it  as 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  215 


the  only  mouthpiece  through  which  they  can 
voice  their  wrongs. 

These  Japanese-edited  papers  have  in  some  cases 
taken  up  a decidedly  anti-white  line.  One  example 
may  show  this.  Let  me  quote  from  the  Tai  Kan 
Nippo , a Seoul  daily,  printed  in  Korean,  but  controlled 
by  the  Japanese.  In  the  issue  of  September  6,  1907, 
it  wrote : “ It  is  great  folly  for  our  countrymen 
to  believe  the  flattery  of  the  Korea  Daily  News , 
and  not  to  realise  the  approaching  danger.  They 
are  like  Chinese  opium-smokers. 

“ The  editor  of  the  Korea  Daily  News  is  an 
Englishman,  with  deep-set  eyes  and  white  nose, 
with  white  face  and  yellow  hair.  The  difference 
between  his  and  our  races  is  great.  To-day  race 
is  against  race.  Is  it  wise  for  the  Korean  people 
to  give  their  confidence  to  men  of  another  race, 
and  to  alienate  men  of  their  own  race  ? 

“ The  Korea  Daily  News  takes  advantage  of 
the  ignorance  of  the  Koreans,  and  secures  a large 
circulation  for  itself.  Be  its  motives  great  or  small, 
we  are  not  inclined  to  discuss  them. 

“The  tone  of  the  paper  has  done  great  damage 
to  our  country.  A ruinous  problem  confronts  us. 
The  Japanese  have  great  interests  here.  If  our 
people  trust  their  own  Government  they  will 
support  them.  If,  however,  our  people  follow  the 
guiding  of  the  Englishman  Bethell’s  cooked  pen 
we  cannot  tell  what  will  happen  to  them.  Separated 
from  their  Government  and  creating  strife  among 
their  neighbours,  their  trouble  will  be  very  great. 

“ Asia  for  the  Asiatics  and  Europe  for  the 


216 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Europeans  is  the  law  of  nature.  The  interests 
of  our  country  and  the  welfare  of  the  people  depend 
on  proximity  and  friendship.  If  we  turn  these 
upside  down  the  results  will  be  ruinous.  Briefly, 
it  is  our  advice  to  our  own  people  to  trust  men 
of  their  own  colour,  and  to  read  no  papers  but 
those  of  their  own  people,  such  as  the  Whang  Sun, 
Che  Kuk,  the  Kuk  Min,  and  our  own.” 

English-speaking  papers  in  the  Far  East,  under 
Japanese  influence,  were  also  called  into  service 
against  the  little  Seoul  daily.  Of  these  the  Japan 
Daily  Mail  was  easily  first.  This  paper  is  edited 
by  Captain  Brinkley,  a well-known  Irishman  for- 
merly in  the  Japanese  Government  service  and 
since  Foreign  Adviser  to  the  premier  Japanese 
shipping  company,  the  Nippon  Yusen  Kaisha. 
Captain  Brinkley’s  great  knowledge  of  Japanese  life 
and  language  is  admitted  and  admired  by  all.  His 
independence  of  judgment  is,  however,  weakened 
by  his  close  official  connection  with  the  Japanese 
Government,  and  by  his  personal  interest  in  Japanese 
industry.  His  journal  is  regarded  generally  as  a 
Government  mouthpiece,  and  he  has  succeeded  in 
making  himself  a more  vigorous  advocate  of  the 
Japanese  claims  than  even  the  Japanese  themselves. 
It  can  safely  be  forecasted  that  whenever  a dis- 
pute arises  between  Japanese  and  British  interests 
Captain  Brinkley  and  his  journal  will  play  the  part, 
through  thick  and  thin,  of  defenders  of  the  Japanese. 

The  Japan  Daily  Mail  sought  to  prepare 
public  opinion  for  the  suppression  of  the  Korea 
Daily  News.  At  the  end  of  1906  it  wrote  : “ Our 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  217 


own  belief  is  that  the  most  expedient  course  in 
this  case  is  the  most  drastic.  Press  regulations 
should  be  enated  such  as  would  bring  a paper 
like  the  Korea  Daily  News  into  immediate  collision 
with  the  criminal  law.  What  is  the  conceivable 
use  of  such  a journal  and  on  what  moral  principle 
is  its  editor  entitled  to  publicly  ventilate  day 
after  day  his  malevolent  prejudices?  We  cannot 
see  that  any  place  exists  for  a character  of  the 
kind  on  the  stage  of  legitimate  journalism,  and  as 
Englishmen  we  should  feel  pleased  were  this 
persistent  enemy  of  our  ally  thrust  out  of  sight.” 

The  Korea  Daily  News  itself  stated  its  position 
about  the  same  time  : — 

“ We  wish  our  readers  happiness  in  the  coming 
year.  We  take  advantage  of  this  occasion  to  say 
a few  words  about  ourselves,  our  ideas,  and  about 
the  people  among  whom  we  dwell.  Antagonists 
have  on  many  occasions  endeavoured  to  persuade 
others  that  the  Korea  Daily  News  is  by  way  of 
being  an  * outcast  ’ newspaper  ; that  its  existence 
is  precarious,  and  that  it  is  irresponsible.  Further 
we  have  noticed  that  an  impression  prevails  that 
the  outspoken  tone  which  the  newspaper  has 
adopted  from  the  first  brings  the  editor  into 
personal  danger. 

“Nothing  could  be  further  from  the  truth.  It 
is  recognised,  we  believe,  by  everybody  in  Korea 
that  we  write  from  conviction  and  with  a full 
sense  of  responsibility,  and  we  may  add  that  the 
Japanese,  whose  proceedings  we  have  so  frequently 
to  call  into  question,  were  the  first  to  recognise 


218 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


this.  They  have  tried  to  bribe  us,  it  is  true,  and 
they  have  also  supplied  us  with  the  kind  of  news 
which  they  would  like  to  see  published,  but  in  all 
their  dealings  with  us  they  have  been  amiability 
itself. 

“ One  thorn  still  sticks  in  our  side,  and  that  is 
the  miserable  system  of — apparently — irresponsible 
espionage.  This  even  we  hope  will  presently  be 
done  away  with. 

“ So  much  for  our  personal  affairs,  and  now 
for  our  ideas.  From  the  inception  of  this  newspaper 
we  have  held  the  belief  that  any  interference  by 
Japan  in  Korean  affairs  could  only  be  disastrous. 
We  still  hold  this  belief,  and  are  confident  that 
the  future  will  bring  our  justification.  During 
the  war  there  were  many  straws  which  showed  us 
whither  the  wind  was  blowing,  and  it  was  plain 
enough  that  the  alleged  treaty  of  November  17, 
1905,  was  the  inevitable  solution  (so  far  as  the 
Japanese  Government  was  concerned)  of  an  almost 
impossible  situation.  The  Japanese  people  were 
persuaded  that  the  treaty  of  Portsmouth  gave  them 
Korea,  and  a ceremony  resembling  annexation  had 
to  be  carried  out. 

“ All  this  we  realise  and  appreciate,  but  we  none 
the  less  believe  that  a modification  of  the  ideas  of 
the  Japanese  people  and  of  the  methods  of  the 
Japanese  Government  is  imperative  or  desirable 
in  the  near  future. 

“Korea  is  not  for  Japan.  This  we  believe,  and 
shall  always  believe.  Japan’s  attempts  to  assume 
control  here  can  only  result  in  waste  of  money 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  219 


and  an  increase  of  the  ill-feeling  which  already 
unmistakably  exists. 

“ It  is  true  that  corruption  prevails  in  Korean 
official  circles,  but  it  is  equally  true  that  many 
of  the  Japanese  who  have  obtained  positions  here 
are  quite  as  corrupt  as  the  most  corrupt  Korean.” 

Diplomacy  was  now  brought  into  play.  During 
the  summer  of  1906  the  Japanese  authorities  caused 
a number  of  articles  to  be  translated  from  the  Dai 
Han  Mai  II  Shinpo,  and  submitted  them  to  the 
British  Government,  with  a request  that  Mr.  Bethell’s 
journals  might  be  suppressed.  It  must  be  under- 
stood that  the  British  journalist  in  the  Far  East 
occupies  a somewhat  different  position  to  that  of 
his  colleagues  at  home.  He  is  governed  by  a 
series  of  “ Orders  in  Council  ” issued  by  the 
British  Government,  and  is  practically  at  the  mercy 
of  his  own  Minister,  who  can,  for  cause  shown, 
have  his  paper  suppressed  and  possibly  himself 
expelled  from  the  territory.  Several  incidents  of 
this  kind  have  occurred.  Thus  in  1876  Sir  Harry 
Parkes  suppressed  the  Bankoku  Shimbun , a verna- 
cular Japanese  paper,  started  by  Mr.  Black,  of  Yoko- 
hama. The  contents  of  this  paper  were  entirely 
inoffensive,  but  the  Tokyo  Government  strongly 
objected  to  a foreigner  issuing  a paper  in  the 
native  language,  without  being  under  the  control 
of  their  Press  laws.  This  led  Sir  Harry  Parkes 
to  issue  a notification  forbidding  British  subjects, 
under  severe  penalties,  from  printing  or  publish- 
ing papers  in  Japanese.  Later,  Mr.  Lillie,  editor 
of  the  Siam  Free  Press , was  deported  by  the 


220 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Government  of  Siam,  on  the  charge  of  attacking  the 
Government  of  the  country,  permission  first  having 
been  obtained  from  the  British  Minister.  There 
was  still  another  case  in  Siam  where  Mr.  Tilleke, 
the  proprietor  of  a journal  published  in  Bangkok, 
was  convicted  of  crime  and  sentenced  to  six  months’ 
imprisonment.  The  editor  of  Mr.  Tilleke’s  journal 
strongly  criticised  the  sentence,  declaring  it  to  be 
a miscarriage  of  justice.  In  consequence  an  order 
for  his  deportation  was  issued  by  the  acting  judge 
at  the  Consular  Court,  and  was  only  held  over  on 
his  making  an  apology.  The  Supreme  Court  later 
unanimously  quashed  Mr.  Tilleke’s  conviction,  but 
this  did  not  affect  the  power  of  the  Consular  Court 
to  punish  the  editor.  So  recently  as  1904  the 
British  in  Northern  China  were  stirred  by  an 
attempt  to  coerce  Mr.  John  Cowen,  the  editor  of 
the  China  Times.  Mr.  Cowen  had  been  writing 
somewhat  freely  about  the  action  of  the  Russian 
authorities  during  the  war,  and  the  Consul-General 
at  Tientsin  ordered  him  to  find  security  that  he 
would  not  repeat  the  offence,  and  threatened  him 
with  deportation.  The  journalist  defied  the  Consul- 
General,  and  in  the  end  won. 

It  can  be  understood  that  when  the  news  went 
abroad  that  the  Japanese  authorities  were  attempt- 
ing to  persuade  the  British  Government  to  suppress 
the  Korea  Daily  News , it  caused  considerable 
interest  to  all  Far  Eastern  residents.  In  order 
to  strengthen  the  hands  of  the  authorities  on  the 
spot  the  British  Foreign  Office  issued,  early  in  1907, 
a fresh  series  of  “ Orders  in  Council  ” dealing  with 


JOURNALISM  IN  KOREA  : A GROUP  OF  SUB-EDITORS. 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  221 


British  journalism  in  the  Far  East.  The  heads  of 
the  British  Legation  in  Tokyo,  who  are,  perhaps 
not  unnaturally,  whole-hearted  advocates  of  the 
Japanese  cause,  were  very  sympathetic  towards  a 
policy  of  vigorous  action.  In  September,  1907, 
Mr.  Cockburn,  the  British  Consul-General,  at  Seoul 
visited  Tokyo,  and  it  was  common  talk  at  the  time 
that  he  had  been  summoned  there  to  discuss  what 
should  be  done  with  the  Daily  News  and  its 
obstinate  editor. 

The  blow  fell  soon  after  Mr.  Cockburn’s  return. 
On  Saturday,  October  12th,  Mr.  Bethell  received 
a summons  to  appear  on  the  following  Monday 
at  a specially  appointed  Consular  Court,  to  answer 
the  charge  of  adopting  a course  of  action  likely  to 
cause  a breach  of  the  peace.  Proceedings  were 
taken,  not  as  had  been  expected  under  the  revised 
“Order”  issued  in  1907,  but  under  Article  83  of  the 
China  and  Korea  Order  in  Council  of  1904: — 

“Where  it  is  proved  that  there  is  reasonable 
ground  to  apprehend  that  a British  subject  is 
about  to  commit  a breach  of  the  public  peace — 
or  that  the  acts  or  conduct  of  a British  subject 
are  or  is  likely  to  produce  or  excite  to  a breach 
of  the  public  peace — the  Court  may,  if  it  thinks 
fit,  cause  him  to  be  brought  before  it,  and  require 
him  to  give  security,  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  Court, 
to  keep  the  peace  or  for  his  future  good  behaviour,  as 
the  case  may  require.” 

The  trial  took  place  in  the  Consular  buildings,  Mr. 
Cockburn  acting  as  judge.  The  short  notice  made 
it  impossible  for  Mr.  Bethell  to  obtain  counsel 


222 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


or  legal  advice,  as  there  are  no  English  lawyers  in 
Seoul,  and  he  would  have  had  to  send  to  Shanghai 
or  Kobe.  This  placed  him  at  an  obvious  dis- 
advantage. He  had  to  plead  his  own  cause  with 
practically  no  preparation,  without  legal  knowledge, 
and  without  trained  advice.  I have  no  wish  here  to 
make  the  slightest  reflection  on  Mr.  Cockburn’s 
personal  attitude  in  this  case,  for  he  has  won  the 
high  esteem  and  confidence  of  all  under  him.  He 
was  acting  as  the  mouthpiece  and  agent  of  his 
superiors  in  Tokyo,  and  it  would  be  unfair  to 
saddle  him  with  responsibility. 

Eight  articles  were  produced  in  court  as  the 
basis  of  the  charge  against  Mr.  Bethell,  some  of 
these  having  appeared  in  the  Korea  Daily  News, 
some  in  the  Dai  Han  Mai  II  Shinpo , and  some 
in  both  papers.  Six  articles  were  comments  on 
or  descriptions  of  the  fighting  then  taking  place 
in  the  interior.  One  dealt  with  the  proposed  visit  of 
the  Crown  Prince  of  Japan  to  Korea,  and  one  was 
an  article  in  Korean,  urging  the  people  to  value  and 
cherish  their  independence.  The  articles  on  the 
fighting  were  no  stronger  than,  if  as  strong,  as  the 
statements  which  I myself  have  made  in  the  pre- 
vious chapters  of  this  book,  when  telling  what  I 
saw  on  my  autumn  journey.  In  order  that  a fair 
judgment  may  be  passed  I print  the  articles 
verbatim  at  the  end  of  this  chapter. 

The  trial,  trivial  as  it  may  have  appeared  to 
some,  was  yet  the  most  deadly  blow  struck  at 
the  freedom  of  the  British  Press  within  this  gene- 
ration. None,  however,  would  have  imagined  its 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  223 


seriousness  by  the  looseness  of  the  proceedings. 
Mr.  Bethell,  not  being  a lawyer,  was  unable  to 
take  advantage  of  the  hundred  and  one  points 
that  arose  in  his  favour.  He  wanted  to  know 
who  was  the  real  complainant  in  the  case.  The 
charge  had  been  nominally  advanced  by  Mr. 
Holmes,  a member  of  the  staff  at  the  British 
Consulate,  but  it  was  obvious  that  he  was 
merely  a cover  for  the  real  movers.  When  the 
accused  asked  at  whose  instigation  the  proceedings 
were  taken,  the  judge  refused  to  permit  the  question 
to  be  answered.  One  official  of  the  Japanese  Resi- 
dency-General, Mr.  Komatz,  came  forward  and  swore 
that,  in  his  opinion,  the  ill-feeling  between  the 
Japanese  and  Koreans  was  caused  by  Mr.  Bethell’s 
two  papers.  Bishop  Turner  was  called  upon  to 
testify  that  the  Koreans  were  hostile  to  the  Japan- 
ese. His  evidence  could  not  have  been  quite 
palatable  to  the  Japanese  themselves. 

The  Judge.  Are  there  any  Koreans  in  Seoul 
who  hold  anti-Japanese  opinions?  In  other  words, 
what  is  the  feeling  of  the  Korean  people  towards 
the  Japanese  in  Korea? 

Bishop  Turner.  In  conversation  with  Koreans 
I have  certainly  noticed  a very  strong  feeling  against 
the  Japanese. 

The  Judge.  Do  you  from  your  general  know- 
ledge think  the  feeling  widespread  ? 

The  Bishop.  Yes,  I do. 

The  Judge.  Widespread? 

The  Bishop.  Yes,  very  widespread. 

Another  witness,  Major  Hughes,  the  only  one 


224 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


called  for  the  defence,  declared  that  in  his  opinion 
Mr.  Bethell’s  articles  were  not  calculated  to  excite  a 
breach  of  the  public  peace.  The  judge’s  decision  was 
as  anticipated.  He  convicted  the  editor,  and  ordered 
him  to  enter  into  recognisances  of  £300  to  be  of 
good  behaviour  for  six  months.  The  Korea  Daily 
News  itself,  in  commenting  on  the  matter,  said, 
“The  effect  of  the  judgment  is  that  for  a period  of 
six  months  this  newspaper  will  be  gagged,  and  there- 
fore no  further  reports  of  Japanese  reverses  can  be 
published  in  our  columns.” 

The  last  has  not  yet  been  heard  of  this  case.  The 
British  Foreign  Office,  upon  which  the  real  responsi- 
bility must  lie,  has  by  its  action  placed  itself  among 
those  who  condone  the  doings  of  the  Japanese  troops 
in  the  interior,  for  it  was  mainly  on  the  publication 
of  the  details  of  the  acts  of  these  troops  that  the 
charges  were  based.  It  is  impossible  to  think  that 
our  Foreign  Office  should  have  moved  in  this  way  for 
any  other  reason  than  from  want  of  knowledge,  and 
it  has  yet  to  be  seen  if  British  public  opinion  will 
permit  British  officials  to  silence  those  who,  despite 
possible  faults  of  style  and  maybe,  in  the  opinion  of 
some,  faults  of  taste,  are  making  a fight,  and  a fight 
against  heavy  odds,  for  justice  to  a weaker  race. 

The  articles  in  the  Korea  Daily  News , on  which 
the  charges  were  based,  were  as  follows  : — 

September  2,  1907. 

“ We  have  repeatedly  commented  upon  the  manner 
in  which  Japan  has  gone  to  work  to  subjugate  Korea, 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  225 


and  reports  that  have  just  reached  us  from  the 
country  are  illustrative  of  the  unpleasant  and  unneces- 
sary methods  she  is  now  using.  If  it  is  the  desire  of 
the  authorities  to  create  a terrible  race  hatred  among 
the  Korean  people  for  Japan,  we  can  only  say  that 
their  desire  will  be  consummated  very  rapidly,  unless 
the  great  question  of  humanity  is  a little  more  studied. 

“ On  Saturday  afternoon  last  two  Korean  ex- 
soldiers were  shot  by  Japanese  troops  outside  the 
west  gate  of  the  city  of  Su  Won.  The  officer  in 
charge  then  drew  his  sword,  and  going  up  to  the  two 
poor  wretches  who  were  dying,  plunged  it  into  their 
stomachs,  almost  disembowelling  them. 

“ The  act  has  caused  great  excitement  and  rage 
in  the  city,  and  as  a result,  when  four  more  men  were 
led  out  to  be  shot  on  Sunday,  all  Koreans  were  for- 
bidden to  approach  within  a quarter  of  a mile  of  the 
place  of  execution.  Japanese  civilians  were,  how- 
ever, allowed  to  be  present. 

“At  Yong-san  on  Saturday  evening  a Korean  and 
his  wife,  the  latter  with  a baby  tied  to  her  back, 
were  quietly  walking  along  the  high-road  near  the 
Japanese  barracks,  when  a Japanese  soldier,  with- 
out any  reason,  fired  at  them. 

“ The  bullet  struck  the  woman  in  the  side,  killing 
her  instantly.  The  baby’s  fingers  on  one  hand  were 
blown  to  pieces. 

“ In  wild  despair  the  husband  rushed  to  the 
barracks  and  poured  out  the  tragic  tale  to  the  officer. 
He  was  listened  to,  and  then  offered  a small  sum  of 
money  as  compensation.  On  his  refusing,  he  was 
driven  out  into  the  road.  No  information  can  be 

16 


226 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


obtained  as  to  whether  the  murderer  has  been 
punished  or  not ; but  it  is  safe  to  assume  that  no 
notice  has  been  taken  of  his  act. 

“In  the  peaceful  little  village  of  Cha  Ma-Chang, 
just  a few  miles  from  the  east  gate  of  Seoul,  the 
Japanese  soldiers  on  their  way  to  I-Chhon  and  Chang 
Chu  have  caused  considerable  trouble.  They  are 
compelling  the  local  farmers  to  act  as  their  coolies, 
and  on  refusal  seize  them  by  force  and  carry  them 
away.  The  women  have  also  been  assaulted,  and 
the  whole  village  is  in  a state  of  terror. 

“ The  farmers  argue  very  logically  that  it  is  unfair 
to  expect  them  to  act  as  baggage  coolies  to  Japanese 
soldiers.  They  reason  that  as  good  Korean  patriots 
it  is  unreasonable  to  expect  them  to  carry  ammuni- 
tion that  will  be  used  to  shoot  down  their  fellow- 
countrymen  ; as  if  they  do,  they  are  likely  to  be 
attacked  and  fired  upon  by  other  Koreans.  That  no 
wages  are  paid  for  their  services ; that  they  are 
not  coolies,  but  are  respectable  farmers  ; and  that  it 
is  a busy  time  just  now  in  the  fields  and  the  crops 
cannot  be  neglected.  These  reasons  would  appear 
convincing  to  most,  but  have  no  effect  on  the  officers. 

“ On  the  Coronation  Day  several  men  were  seized 
and  marched  off  with  heavily-laden  jiggies  at  the 
point  of  the  bayonet.  Ponies  are  being  comman- 
deered in  all  directions,  whilst  no  payment  is  offered 
for  anything  that  is  taken.  The  majority  of  the 
villagers  have  fled  to  the  mountains. 

“ If  the  latter  incidents  happen  within  a few  miles 
of  Seoul,  one  is  tempted  to  ask  what  is  going  on  far 
out  in  the  country.’’ 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  227 


September  10,  1907. 

“ The  trouble  in  the  interior  has  become  so  serious 
that  the  Japanese  military  authorities  have  decided 
to  use  extreme  measures  to  stamp  it  out.  The  pro- 
clamation of  General  Baron  Hasegawa,  Acting 
Resident-General  and  military  Commander-in-Chief, 
is  one  of  those  frank  announcements  which,  although 
possibly  necessary,  create  feelings  of  horror  and  pity. 
Horror,  because  of  the  ruthlessness  of  the  order  ; 
pity,  because  of  the  tragedies  and  sufferings  that  are 
inevitable  among  the  people.  Over  all  these  hangs 
the  supreme  tragedy  : the  hopelessness  of  the  struggle. 
One  is  compelled  to  admire  the  misguided  patriotism 
of  the  people  who  have  determined  to  strike  a blow 
for  their  country  and  die.  It  is  the  highest  order  of 
courage  ; it  is  also  the  most  pitiful. 

“ The  proclamation  orders  the  destruction  of  all 
villages  where  insurrection  has  taken  place.  Such 
an  order  should  be  the  last  resort  of  all ; for  it  means 
the  carrying  on  of  war  against  women  and  children 
and  aged  people.  It  means  suffering  unutterable  ; it 
means  the  murder  of  the  defenceless.  The  situation 
is  not  so  bad  as  to  really  cause  the  adoption  of 
extreme  measures.  Gentler  methods  could  have 
been  used  to  suppress  the  trouble,  and  could  have 
been  used  effectually.  The  bitter  winter  will  soon 
be  here  ; and  the  burning  of  entire  villages  and 
towns  is  simply  inexcusable.  As  a last  resort  it 
might  have  been  pardonable ; but  in  the  present 
condition  of  affairs  it  is  a revival  of  barbaric 
methods. 


228 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


“What  is  the  condition  of  things  in  Korea?  In 
the  south  about  2,000  people  have  risen  and  attacked 
the  Japanese  officers.  The  majority  of  them  are 
armed  with  old  weapons.  Artillery,  they  are  with- 
out. To  replenish  their  stock  of  ammunition  is  very 
difficult,  whilst  their  organisation  is  of  a rather  low 
order.  Against  them  we  have  trained  Japanese 
troops  with  the  latest  magazine  rifles,  with  light, 
quick-firing  machine  guns,  and  with  infinite  resources 
so  far  as  reinforcements  and  commissariat  are  con- 
cerned. If  it  is  impossible  for  the  Japanese,  with 
these  advantages  over  the  Koreans,  to  suppress  the 
rising  without  burning  to  the  ground  hundreds  and 
thousands  of  houses,  then  we  have  to  say  that  the 
army  now  in  Korea  has  sadly  deteriorated  in  com- 
parison with  the  Japanese  armies  who  fought  in 
Manchuria.  The  ancients  had  a saying  that  those 
whom  the  gods  wish  to  destroy,  they  first  make  mad. 
The  critic  of  Japan  may  well  remember  this  old 
aphorism  ; for  if  Japan  persists  in  carrying  out  these 
extreme  methods  of  suppression  she  will  succeed  in 
building  up  a race  hatred  quite  as  fierce  and  quite  as 
relentless  as  Oliver  Cromwell  did  among  the  people 
of  Ireland. 

“ Marquis  Ito,  for  the  apparent  purpose  of  obtain- 
ing publicity  abroad,  has  sought  to  make  it  under- 
stood that  Japan’s  policy  in  Korea  is  a conciliatory 
one.  General  Hasegawa  has  by  his  proclamation 
taken  the  wind  out  of  Marquis  Ito’s  sails.  We  may 
say,  however,  that  General  Hasegawa  is  acting  under 
instructions  from  Tokyo,  which  have  been  sent  to 
him  with  the  complete  approval  of  Marquis  Ito. 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  229 


And  so  we  have  Marquis  I to  openly  preaching  the 
gospel  of  conciliation,  and  we  have  General  Hase- 
gawa,  who  is  the  Acting  Resident-General,  promising 
the  destruction  of  all  Koreans  who  are  suspected  of 
disaffection.  There  are  two  orators  and  two  plat- 
forms. Marquis  I to  addresses  himself  in  velvet  to 
the  civilised  nations.  General  Hasegawa  threatens 
the  Koreans  with  the  armed  forces  of  Japan.  Of 
General  Hasegawa’s  proclamation  we  have  little  to 
say ; but  the  inducements  which  are  extended  to 
Koreans  to  betray  their  neighbours  or  friends  are 
very  clearly  not  in  accordance  with  the  ideas  of 
honour  which  prevail  amongst  Western  nations,  and 
fall  far  behind  the  standard  which  two  Japanese 
barons  so  sedulously  sought  to  impress  upon  the 
white  man  in  Europe  and  America  during  Japan’s 
travail.” 


September  12,  1907. 

“ The  rising  in  the  south  of  Korea  is  now  marked 
with  the  worst  attributes  of  warfare.  It  is  no  longer 
civilised  warfare ; it  has  developed  into  war  without 
mercy.  We  by  no  means  wish  to  insinuate  that  it  is 
only  the  Japanese  who  are  the  offenders.  On  the 
contrary,  we  freely  admit  that  the  Korean  insurgents 
have  copied  the  examples  of  the  Japanese  soldiers 
and  are  burning  houses  and  killing  people.  We 
would  merely  like  to  point  out  that  the  authorities 
started  these  methods  and  that  the  Koreans  have 
followed  suit.  They  have  evidently  an  understanding 
of  the  old  proverb,  ‘ What  is  sauce  for  the  goose  is 
sauce  for  the  gander.’ 


230 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


“ Reliable  information  has  reached  us  from  the 
interior,  and  we  publish  it  without  comment.  Our 
informant  deals  with  the  condition  of  things  in 
Chhung-Chhung-Do.  He  arrived  on  T uesday  evening 
from  Pyeng  Tak,  having  walked  from  his  home  near 
Chhung-Chu  city.  He  reports  that  for  a distance  of 
nearly  seventy  li  along  the  high-road  from  Chei  Chyen 
city  the  Japanese  troops  have  burned  to  the  ground 
every  village  and  every  house.  The  desolation  is 
appalling.  There  is  nothing  left  but  ruins  and 
smoking  straw. 

“On  Monday  last  the  magistrate  of  Chin-Tchun 
called  in  the  aid  of  fifty  Japanese  soldiers,  and  the 
townsmen  having  provided  the  soldiers  with  whatever 
they  required,  the  volunteers  held  a meeting,  and 
decided  to  punish  what  they  considered  treachery  on 
the  part  of  their  countrymen.  A few  hours  later  they 
assembled  in  large  numbers  and  attacked  the  town. 

“ At  the  first  signs  of  attack  the  insurgents  fled  to 
the  hills,  upon  which  the  volunteers  then  attacked  the 
Japanese  garrison  of  fifty  men.  They  defeated  the 
Japanese,  killing  eight  soldiers  and  driving  the  rest 
in  the  direction  of  An  Song.  They  then  burnt  the 
entire  town,  which  is  by  no  means  a small  one. 
The  Korean  volunteers  are  using  ancient  rifles,  and 
are  said  to  be  short  of  ammunition,  but  during  this 
fight  they  captured  a considerable  number  of  modern 
rifles  and  a fair  amount  of  ammunition. 

“At  the  same  time  another  body  of  volunteers 
ambuscaded  a small  party  of  Japanese  soldiers  in 
one  of  the  valleys  in  the  mountains,  and  killed  them 
all. 


Photograph  by]  tF-  A-  McKenzie 

JOURNALISM  IX  KOREA  : THE  COMPOSITORS'  ROOM  OF  A 
DAILY  PAPER. 


Si. 


• « , 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  231 


“ In  Chhung-Chu  city  there  are  over  1,000 
Japanese  soldiers.  The  officers  have  adopted  the  old 
methods  of  warfare,  for  they  are  paying  practically 
nothing  for  the  stores  they  seize.  It  is  also  reported, 
but  we  do  not  vouch  for  the  report,  that  the  soldiers 
are  killing  both  women  and  children. 

“ Thousands  of  non-combatants  have  been  robbed 
and  rendered  houseless  by  the  Japanese  soldiers, 
which  has  naturally  resulted  in  a large  increase  of 
the  volunteer  forces.” 

September  21,  1907. 

“ Telegraphic  messages  from  Tokyo,  which  reached 
us  this  morning,  say  that  the  Crown  Prince  of  Japan, 
Prince  Yoshi-hito,  will  arrive  in  Seoul  on  October 
10th,  on  a ‘visit  of  inspection.’  This  visit  appears 
to  make  a departure  from  the  tradition  which  has 
hitherto  been  observed  when  the  two  nations  have 
held  intercourse  with  each  other.  Korea  has  had 
many  visitors  from  Japan  who  carried  messages  from 
one  Emperor  to  the  other,  and  has  always  recipro- 
cated on  equal  terms,  but  this  expedition,  uninvited, 
to  the  best  of  our  belief,  to  Korea,  is  a very  distinct 
advance  from  a ceremonial  point  of  view,  upon 
anything  which  Japan  has  so  far  attempted  in  Korea  ; 
and  we  cannot  see,  much  as  we  must  admire  the 
Imperial  family  of  Japan,  how  this  new  step  can 
conduce  in  any  way  to  the  improvement  of  the 
relations  between  the  two  countries,  especially  at  a 
time  when  Japanese  troops  are  butchering  Korean 
patriots — misguided  surely,  but  still  patriots. 

“ And  what  has  become  of  the  Imperial  House 


232 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


of  Korea?  To  all  intents  and  purposes  the  Emperor 
is  now  suffering  at  Japanese  hands  in  much  the  same 
way  as  the  common  Korean  people  have  suffered 
for  some  years.  He  is  being  quartered  upon.  No 
one  can  imagine  for  a moment  that  the  Emperor 
spontaneously  invited  the  Crown  Prince  of  Japan 
to  come  to  Korea.  Neither  can  it  be  believed  that 
the  weak  Emperor  looks  forward  to  the  coming 
visitation  with  feelings  other  than  those  of  the  greatest 
trepidation. 

“ It  was  only  two  days  ago,  possibly  in  anticipation 
of  the  visit  of  H.I.J.H.  the  Prince  Yoshi-hito,  that 
the  retired  Emperor  and  the  reigning  Emperor  were 
separated  from  each  other  on  orders  of  the  men  who 
comprise  the  Cabinet  Council.  This  separation 
rudely  broke  a companionship  which  had  continued 
unbroken  for  over  a quarter  of  a century  ; as  for 
this  time  the  Emperor  and  his  father  lived,  ate,  and 
slept  in  the  same  house. 

“ The  present  Emperor  can  by  no  means  be 
described  as  a strong  man.  The  retired  Emperor 
had  his  weaknesses,  but  had  many  accomplishments 
which  enabled  him  to  preserve  his  balance  upon  the 
throne  so  long  as  he  did.  If  common  report  is 
correct,  the  new  Emperor  has  none  of  these  advan- 
tages, and  the  separation  from  his  father  will 
probably  leave  him  more  than  ever  at  sea. 

“ That  this  separation  was  forcible  is  clear  to  every 
one  who  lives  at  Seoul,  and  that  it  carries  behind 
it  further  designs  upon  Korea — Independence,  In- 
tegrity, Welfare,  Imperial  Dignity,  and  so  forth — 
is  generally  apprehended.  During  the  war  the  brick 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  233 


which  the  Japanese  most  frequently  threw  at  the 
Koreans  was  labelled  ‘ intrigue.’  And  now  in  our 
humble  way  we  heave  that  brick  back  to  where  it 
belongs.” 

Septeviber  24,  1907. 

“ We  have  received  a long  letter  from  a valued 
correspondent  (a  foreigner)  concerning  the  trouble 
in  the  interior.  He  has  only  recently  returned  from 
the  scene,  and  he  writes  of  things  that  he  saw.  Our 
correspondent  is  an  unbiassed  man  with  no  axe  to 
grind  for  either  party. 

“He  says:  ‘This  business  is  a big  thing.  The 
Japanese  by  their  methods  are  either  deliberately  or 
through  ignorance  and  incapacity  causing  it  to  grow 
rapidly.  In  Chhin-Chun  Eup  the  Eui-pyeng,  or 
Righteous  Army,  drove  out  two  Japanese  who  had 
somehow  got  possession  of  Korean  houses  and  burnt 
their  belongings.  On  September  9th  twenty-seven 
Japanese  soldiers  entered  the  town  and  burnt  sixty- 
five  houses  ; I saw  these  myself,  and  they  were  nothing 
more  than  a heap  of  ashes.  The  Kun  gu’s  official 
residence  was  destroyed,  and  part  of  the  large  house 
of  Mr.  Yi  Han  Eung.  The  Japanese  then  took 
possession  of  the  remaining  part  of  the  house  and 
slept  in  it,  having  driven  the  owners  away,  and  after 
a few  days  left  it  in  a filthy  condition.  They  even 
dragged  doors  and  windows  off  their  hinges,  pulled 
the  paper  off  the  walls  and  strewed  filth,  fragments 
of  cigarettes,  food,  and  broken  beer-bottles  through- 
out the  best  rooms  of  the  house.  As  the  owner  of 
the  house  had  already  been  beaten  by  the  volunteers 


234 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


for  refusing  to  aid  them  (he  is  a rich  man)  the 
Japanese  acts  of  vandalism  at  his  house  seem  some- 
what unnecessary  and  inhuman. 

“ ‘ Whilst  I was  in  this  town  a body  of  ten 
volunteers  passed  through  in  the  evening.  It  was 
a moving  sight  to  see  these  poor  patriots  marching 
in  single  file  with  their  ancient  muskets  slung  over 
their  right  shoulder  and  a fuse  in  their  left  hand. 
They  were  perfectly  orderly  and  quiet  and  made  no 
disturbance  in  the  town  whatever. 

“ ‘ I was  twice  accosted  by  the  Eui-pyeng  in  my 
travels,  but  was  always  treated  politely.  One  of 
them  told  me  that  they  were  glad  to  see  any 
foreigners  in  the  country,  except  the  Japanese,  and 
that  they  wished  to  learn  from  foreigners  mechanical 
and  other  arts,  and  were  determined  to  save  their 
country  or  die  in  the  attempt. 

“ ‘ Both  here  and  in  every  other  village  where  I 
stopped  I warned  Koreans  of  the  uselessness  of 
fighting  for  their  independence  as  things  are  now, 
and  implored  them  to  bear  their  humiliation  for  a 
number  of  years,  during  which  they  must  acquire 
Western  arts  and  sciences,  and  not  to  put  their  trust 
in  Russia,  England,  China,  America,  or  any  other 
nation,  but  to  trust  in  the  future  and  prepare  them- 
selves to  be  ready  to  claim  their  independence  when 
the  time  comes. 

“ ‘ They  were  quite  respectful  but  determined  to 
fight  on.  I hope,  however,  that  I have  deterred  many 
from  joining  them,  and  I may  say  without  boasting 
that  I believe  I have  done  more  to  pacify  the  Koreans 
than  any  Japanese  in  this  country.  One  Korean, 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  235 


pointing  to  his  ruined  home,  said  to  me,  “ Our  religion 
teaches  us  to  love  our  enemies,  but  it  is  very  hard  to 
love  the  Japanese  when  you  see  that  sort  of  thing.” 

“‘Not  a single  Japanese  soldier  or  civilian  did 
I see,  and  only  one  or  two  fugitive  Koreans  with 
their  hair  cut,  not  one  individual  displayed  in  foreign 
elastic-sided  boots  and  green  or  purple  stockings. 
It  was  a disappointment. 

*“  In  one  village  I was  in,  the  Eui-pyeng  captured 
a member  of  the  notorious  II  Chin  Hoi,  but  although 

I inquired  very  carefully,  I could  not  hear  that  they 
had  done  him  any  damage. 

“ ‘ The  people  all  speak  well  of  the  Eui-pyeng, 
whom  they  declare  to  be  strictly  disciplined  and 
well  officered.  The  Japanese,  guided  by  men  of  the 

II  Chin  Hoi,  men  who  are  now  the  avowed,  but  who 
always  have  been  the  real,  enemies  of  their  country, 
go  about  in  considerable  numbers,  and  live  the  life  of 
ruthless  brigands.  They  live  by  plunder  and  theft, 
and  destroy  wherever  they  go.  At  the  same  time 
they  are  utterly  incapable  of  suppressing  the  dis- 
turbances, which  grow  rapidly  under  the  inhuman 
outrages. 

“ ‘ These  freebooters  pillage,  assault,  and  kill 
wherever  they  go.  One  village  I was  in  the  people 
were  full  of  deep  wrath  because  they  had  shot  a 
small  boy  who  was  cutting  firewood  on  the  hillside. 
He  was  quite  alone,  they  told  me,  and  there  were 
none  of  the  Eui-pyeng  within  miles  of  the  place. 
They  plunder  isolated  villages,  and  seize  horses  and 
oxen.  They  never  pay  a cent  for  anything,  and  no 
one  is  safe  from  their  violence  and  greed.  To  call 


236  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


the  Righteous  Army  rebels  is  ridiculous  when  one 
goes  among  them  and  realises  that  they  are  fighting 
for  home  and  country  against  a set  of  ruffians. 

“ ‘ I saw  four  places  where  engagements  had  been 
fought.  At  one  place  it  had  been  a drawn  battle, 
the  Japanese  retiring  with  five  killed.  The  other 
three  were  Japanese  victories,  owing  to  the  long 
range  of  their  rifles  and  their  superior  ammunition  ; 
and  only  one  of  their  victories  was  obtained  without 
casualties  to  themselves.  I saw  enough  to  realise 
that  it  was  no  picnic  for  the  Japanese. 

“ ‘ The  Chinese  are  about  as  usual  in  all  the  places 
I visited,  and  everybody  is  perfectly  safe,  with  the 
exception  of  the  Japanese  and  the  II  Chin  Hoi. 

“ ‘ One  is  forced  to  ask  who  is  in  charge  of  these 
men  who  are  nothing  more  than  brigands.  Their 
mode  of  warfare  seems  to  be  purposely  designed  to 
stir  every  honest  man  into  a frenzy.  Is  this  their 
object  ? If  not,  why  do  they  practise  so  wicked,  so 
mad  a policy  ? Let  the  authorities  either  police  the 
whole  disaffected  districts  effectually  and  properly, 
or  else  confess  their  incapacity  for  controlling  Korea. 

“ ‘ In  spite  of  all  this  misery  and  destruction  the 
harvest  promises  well  in  most  parts ; while,  although 
there  has  been  so  long  a drought,  the  rice  crop  is  on 
the  whole  a heavy  one.  Even  now,  by  the  constant 
attention  and  clever  manipulation  of  the  water 
supply,  many  of  the  rows  are  still  covered  with  two 
or  three  inches  of  that  most  necessary  element.’ 

“ So  writes  our  correspondent.  We  make  no 
comment.  It  is  needless.” 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  237 


September  2 6,  1907. 

“ We  are  informed  that  a bad  fight  took  place 
about  eight  miles  frou  Su-won  on  Sunday,  Septem- 
ber 1 2th.  Thirty  volunteers  were  surrounded  by 
Japanese  troops,  and  although  no  resistance  was 
offered,  were  shot  down  in  the  most  cold-blooded 
fashion.  This  not  being  quite  enough  to  satisfy  the 
conquerors,  two  other  volunteers  who  had  been 
captured  were  brought  out  and  were  decapitated  by 
one  of  the  officers.  We  may  mention  that  this  news 
does  not  come  from  native  sources  ; it  comes  from 
European.” 

October  1,  1907. 

“ Reliable  information  from  the  south  states  that 
on  the  26th  ult.  several  Japanese  soldiers  arrived  in 
Yea  San  and  arrested  Mr.  Yi  Nam  Kiu,  a former 
high  official  in  the  district.  In  their  anxiety  his  son 
and  servants  followed  the  party  and  begged  to  know 
the  reason  of  the  seizure,  upon  which  the  soldiers 
opened  fire  upon  them,  killing  the  majority.  They 
then  put  Mr.  Yi  against  a post  and  shot  him.” 

The  article  which  appeared  solely  in  the  Dai  Han 
Mai  II  Shinpo  (October  1st)  was  : — 

“Valuing  that  which  is  Valuable. 

“ Oh ! Korean  nation  ! Is  not  independence  the 
most  valuable  thing  in  the  world  ? 

“ The  rights  of  a people  exist  by  virtue  of  the 
independence  of  their  country,  and  the  more  com- 


238  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


plete  the  independence  the  fuller  the  rights  of  the 
people.  If  independence  is  impaired  so  are  the  rights 
of  the  people,  and  if  it  is  completely  lost  the  rights 
of  the  people  are  lost  with  it.  Independence  is  the 
life  and  soul,  body  and  limbs  of  a nation.  Having 
it,  a nation  lives,  without  it,  it  dies ; therefore  the 
two  words  Tok-lip  (Independence)  represent  one  of 
the  most  valuable  things  in  the  world,  difficult  to 
obtain  and  difficult  to  keep. 

“Even  the  Jewel  of  Bouhoo  and  the  Jade  of  VVhasi 
were  not  easily  obtained  or  carelessly  guarded  ; 
therefore  how  much  more  difficult  it  is  to  obtain 
and  maintain  that  independence  which  concerns  the 
life  or  death  of  a whole  race  of  people ! 

“ Think  ! What  are  the  histories  of  the  struggles 
for  independence  in  America,  Greece,  and  Italy? 
How  many  patriots  suffered  great  misery  ? How 
many  lost  all  they  had,  and  how  many  lost  their 
lives  ? 

“ The  glorious  independence  of  these  nations  now 
shines  to  the  four  directions  of  the  compass,  yet  the 
blessings  which  the  present  generations  enjoy  were 
purchased  with  the  blood  of  their  ancestors. 

“ Korea  came  by  her  independence  easily ; the 
nation  did  not  struggle  for  it  and  the  people  did  not 
suffer  to  obtain  it.  It  was  a gift  from  God,  and, 
coming  easily,  was  lightly  guarded.  The  people  did 
not  try  to  appreciate  the  nature  of  the  gift  and  the 
value  of  national  independence.  An  ancient  philo- 
sopher has  written  that  if  a man  receives  1,000 
taels  of  gold  without  cause,  great  blessings  or  great 
calamities  will  befal  him.  Independence  came  to  us 


SUPPRESSION  OF  FOREIGN  CRITICISM  239 


without  any  effort  on  our  part,  and  great  calamity 
was  therefore  to  come  to  us. 

“If  directly  we  had  received  our  independence 
we  had  devoted  ourselves  to  strengthening  and  con- 
serving our  new  position,  and  if  our  Government  and 
all  political  parties  had  united  to  work  unceasingly 
for  the  progress  and  enlightenment  of  our  people, 
then  great  blessings  would  have  been  ours  and  the 
foundations  of  independence  laid  ten  years  ago  would 
have  been  rendered  safe.  With  no  appreciation  of 
the  value  of  independence,  we  did  the  exact  opposite. 
Not  valuing  the  blessings  of  God,  we  spent  in  idle 
pleasure  the  time  and  energy  which  should  have  been 
devoted  to  education  and  the  strengthening  of  the 
nation.  We  spurned  the  gift  of  God,  and  our  un- 
happy condition  to-day  is  our  own  fault.  Independ- 
ence, the  great  safeguard  of  a nation,  came  to  us 
easily,  and,  valuing  it  lightly,  we  lost  it  almost  at  once. 
Chomeng  once  gave  away  something  he  valued,  but 
finding  that  it  was  not  appreciated,  he  stole  it  back 
again,  and  similarly  those  who  gave  us  independence 
have  now  deprived  us  of  it. 

“ History  tells  us  that  the  independence  of  the 
United  States,  Italy,  and  Greece  was  only  gained 
after  many  years  of  affliction  and  trouble,  and  by 
the  loss  of  many  thousands  of  lives,  and  in  the  same 
way  the  people  of  Korea  must  pay  the  proper  price 
before  they  attain  full  happiness.  There  are  usually 
failures  before  success  is  reached,  and  why,  there- 
fore should  our  hearts  fail  us  now  and  our  footsteps 
falter  ? 

“Our  independence,  to  be  complete,  must  be 


240 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


gained  by  our  own  efforts  and  held  by  our  own 
strength.  Let  our  watchword,  then,  be  ‘ Independ- 
ence ’ ; and  though  our  troubles  be  infinite,  let  us  not 
break  even  though  we  are  bent  ten  thousand  times, 
and  in  the  end  we  shall  shake  off  outside  oppression 
and  restraint  and  once  more  build  up  an  independent 
nation. 

“ If  we  do  this,  we  shall  prove  our  capacity  to  the 
world  ; if  we  do  not,  there  will  be  no  place  for  us  in 
all  the  wide  world  or  on  all  the  broad  ocean. 

“ Therefore  consider  this  and  act.” 


CHAPTER  XX 

THE  PROSPECTS  FOR  FOREIGN  TRADE 
P to  the  year  1904  Korea  presented  a possible 


and  expanding  field  for  British  trade  and 
British  influence.  The  Customs  Service  was  under 
an  Englishman.  British  houses  had  their  branches 
in  Chemulpho  and  elsewhere.  British  goods,  more 
particularly  cottons,  were  acquiring  an  ever-grow- 
ing market,  and  our  Open  Door  rights  were  made 
secure  by  treaty.  To-day  the  British  chief  of  the 
Customs  has  gone  and  a Japanese  has  taken  his 
place.  The  numerous  European  assistants  in  the 
Customs  Service  have  nearly  all  been  sent  adrift  and 
their  positions  occupied  by  a greatly  augmented 
number  of  Japanese.  While  we  still  have  a nominal 
Open  Door,  it  is  freely  charged  that  Japanese 
merchants  are  able  to  bring  their  goods  into  the 
country  on  more  advantageous  terms  than  our  own 
people.  Our  trade  in  Korea  is  doomed  as  surely 
as  our  Formosan  trade  was  doomed  when  Japan 
took  over  that  island.  The  Residency-General  has 
adopted  on  the  surface  a policy  of  encouragment  to 
the  foreigner,  but  in  truth  a policy  of  exclusion. 


242 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


The  encouragement  is  confined  to  gracious  words 
and  fair  promises,  but  the  reality  consists  of 
conditions  so  onerous  and  uncertain  that  foreign 
capitalists  will  not  put  fresh  money  into  the  land. 

It  was  perhaps  natural  that,  when  Japan  took  over 
Korea,  one  of  the  earliest  rules  of  the  Residency- 
General  was  that  Japanese  should  be  employed  for 
every  service,  and  that  contracts  should  always  go  to 
Japanese  firms  wherever  they  could  possibly  supply 
the  goods.  It  was  reasonable,  too,  that  the 
Residency-General  should  seek  to  improve  the  old 
loose  and  uncertain  methods  of  granting  conces- 
sions. But  it  was  soon  found  that  under  the 
seeming  fairness  in  trade  regulations  provisos  were 
inserted  that  would  hoplessly  cripple  any  non- 
Japanese. 

This  can  be  well  illustrated  by  the  case  of  the 
mining  laws.  When  the  Japanese  came  to  Korea 
in  1904  there  was  good  promise  of  considerable 
mining  enterprise  in  the  country.  Representatives 
of  various  nations  had  already  secured  concessions, 
and  the  American  mines  yielded  high  profits.  Great 
financial  groups  in  London,  Paris,  and  New  York 
had  their  representatives  on  the  spot,  seeking 
power  to  open  up  fresh  fields.  The  Japanese  first 
announced  that  they  would  delay  granting  any 
concessions  until  proper  regulations  should  be 
framed.  Japanese  prospectors  were  given  a free 
hand  to  travel  over  the  country,  while  the  white 
prospectors  were  kept  back.  Then,  in  1906,  the 
new  mining  regulations  appeared.  In  many  re- 
spects these  were  fair  and  even  liberal,  but  they 


PROSPECTS  FOR  FOREIGN  TRADE  243 


were  wholly  vitiated  by  certain  clauses  which 
placed  the  holders  of  the  rights  entirely  at  the 
mercy  of  the  Minister  of  Agriculture,  a Japanese- 
appointed  official.  Articles  9 and  10  declared  that 
the  owners  of  a mining  right  could  not  amalgamate, 
divide,  sell,  assign,  or  mortgage  a claim  without  per- 
mission from  the  Minister  of  Agriculture.  Article  1 1 
gave  the  same  Minister  the  right  to  stop  all  opera- 
tions at  will.  “ In  case  the  holder  of  a mining  right 
does  not  carry  on  operations  properly,  or  when  his 
method  of  work  is  considered  to  involve  danger,  or 
to  be  injurious  to  public  interests,  the  Minister  of 
Agriculture,  Commerce,  and  Industry  shall  order  the 
required  improvement  or  precautionary  measures  or 
the  suspension  of  operations.”  In  Article  12  the 
power  of  absolute  forfeiture  was  laid  down.  “ The 
Minister  of  Agriculture,  Commerce,  and  Industry, 
may  revoke  the  permission  to  carry  on  mining 
operations  when  the  mining  operations  are  con- 
sidered to  be  injurious  to  public  interests.” 

The  result  of  this  has  been  what  one  would  expect. 
Great  financiers  now  refuse  to  advance  money  for 
Korean  enterprises  ; the  biggest  syndicate  of  all  is 
withdrawing  from  the  country,  and  British  engineers, 
known  to  me,  are,  as  I write  this  in  London,  looking 
for  fresh  engagements  because  the  Japanese  mining 
regulations  have  made  it  impossible  for  them  to 
continue  their  work  in  Korea.  No  one  will  put 
half  a million  of  money  in  mining  development 
and  plant  to  have  before  him  the  possibility  of 
it  being  confiscated  at  the  whim  of  an  official. 
“ We  have  refused  no  English  requests  for  a mining 


244 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


right,”  the  Japanese  say.  No,  but  they  have  made 
the  mining  rights  not  worth  having,  or  certainly  not 
worth  investing  the  heavy  sums  in  development  that 
are  necessary  if  good  work  is  to  be  done. 

There  has  been  considerable  talk  during  the  last 
year  of  a Customs  alliance  between  Japan  and  Korea. 
This  is  advocated  by  men  like  Count  Okuma,  who 
call  insistently  for  the  sweeping  away  of  old  Korean 
treaties.  The  foreign  merchants  in  Korea  believe  that 
unless  active  steps  are  taken  this  union  will  come, 
and  they  point  out  that,  if  it  comes,  the  last  vestiges 
of  their  trade  will  be  taken  away.  Foreign  goods 
would  then  have  to  pay  the  high  Japanese  tariff  when 
brought  into  Korea,  and  Japanese  goods  would  be 
admitted  free.  The  probability  of  this  coming  to 
pass  is  wholly  denied  by  the  responsible  authorities 
at  the  Residency-General.  “ Only  the  greedy  com- 
mercial party  in  Japan  wants  it,”  a high  official  once 
assured  me.  There  are  great  difficulties  in  the  way 
of  carrying  out  such  a proposal.  It  could  not  be  done 
without  the  consent  of  the  various  Powers  possessing 
treaty  rights  with  Korea.  Japan  might,  of  course, 
denounce  such  treaties  and  refuse  to  acknowledge 
them  further,  but  such  a course  would  do  her  so  much 
harm  that  it  is  not  likely  to  be  followed.  From  the 
point  of  view  of  the  Residency-General  the  step  is 
undesirable  at  this  time,  because  it  would  destroy 
one  of  the  principal  sources  of  Korean  revenue. 

There  is  an  old  and  true  story  of  how  some  years 
after  Korea  had  been  opened  to  foreign  trade  a 
foreign  Minister  rose  in  the  House  of  Commons  to 
reply  to  a question  on  the  Hermit  Kingdom.  “ The 


Photograph  by ] 


[-F.  A.  McKenzie. 


JAPANESE  INFANTRY  OUT  AGAINST  KOREANS. 


PROSPECTS  FOR  FOREIGN  TRADE  245 


honourable  member  asks  if  we  are  taking  steps  to 
protect  British  trade  in  Korea,”  he  said.  “ There 
is  no  such  thing  as  British  trade  there.  There  is  not 
a single  British  firm  in  Korea,  and  no  British  goods 
go  there.”  At  the  time  one  of  the  leading  British 
houses  in  the  Far  East  had  been  settled  in  Che- 
mulpho  for  eighteen  months,  and  was  doing  well 
But  word  of  this  enterprise  had  not  yet  reached 
Downing  Street. 

No  one  can  deny  the  reality  of  British  trade  in 
Korea  now.  But  there  is  still  danger  that  the  same 
indifference  in  official  circles  may  sweep  it  away.  I 
refuse  to  contemplate  the  possibility  of  our  Govern- 
ment giving  its  consent  to  the  abrogation  of  our 
Open  Door  rights  there.  But,  apart  from  so 
extreme  a measure,  we  are  permitting  other  things 
to  go  on  that  cannot  fail  to  harm  us.  One  of  the 
most  annoying  and  dangerous  of  these  is  the  free 
sale  of  Japanese  fraudulent  imitation  of  well-known 
British  goods.  This  affects  our  trade  not  only  in 
Korea,  but  also  in  Manchuria  and  China.  Not  long 
since  I was  walking  through  a town  in  Northern 
Asia  with  an  American  Consul  stationed  there.  My 
friend  pointed  out  to  me  article  after  article  in  the 
big  stores  with  an  English  label,  but  which  we  could 
see  in  a moment  were  nothing  but  the  bogus  products 
of  an  Osaka  factory.  “You  British  are  wonderful 
people,”  he  said.  “ You  make  good  things  and  earn 
a high  reputation  for  them.  Then  you  will  allow  a 
sneaking  little  Japanese  trader  to  spread  the  vilest 
counterfeits  of  your  stuff  all  over  Asia.  Your  reputa- 
tion is  destroyed,  not  merely  for  those  particular 


246  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


goods,  but  for  many  others.  And  yet  you  do  not 
even  protest,  and  you  have  no  officials  on  the  spot 
to  safeguard  your  interests.” 

Early  last  year  English  commercial  men  were 
aroused  by  the  reports  of  an  amazing  case  in 
Japan,  which  shed  vivid  light  on  the  difficulties 
before  our  manufacturers  there.  The  Japanese 
agents  for  “ Black  and  White  ” whisky  summoned 
a man,  Nishiwaka,  for  imitating  their  trade  mark. 
Nishikawa  made  no  secret  of  the  fact  that  he  had 
copied  the  “ Black  and  White  ” trade-mark  as  closely 
as  he  could.  “ I wanted  to  make  the  whisky  look  as 
much  as  possible  as  though  it  had  been  imported 
from  abroad,  and  I considered  the  ‘ Black  and 
White’  the  best,”  he  told  the  court.  For  all 
practical  purposes  the  two  labels — I have  seen  both 
— were  not  distinguishable.  There  was  no  dispute 
about  the  facts,  and  there  was  no  question  that 
people  had  been  deceived.  The  court  dismissed  the 
charge,  on  the  ground  that  it  did  not  constitute  an 
offence  in  Japanese  law.  This  decision  has  been 
upheld  on  appeal. 

The  “ Black  and  White”  case  was  only  a very  bad 
instance  of  what  is  going  on  constantly.  In  Korea 
British  trade  feels  the  result  of  this.  When  you  buy 
English  goods  in  the  Japanese  quarter  in  Seoul  you 
must  look  very  carefully  at  the  label.  Usually,  a 
mis-spelled  word  or  a letter  turned  upside  down 
gives  away  the  imitation.  A friend  of  mine  bought 
a so-called  Christy’s  hat  for  her  little  boy.  The  boy 
went  out  in  the  rain  and  was  soaked.  The  hat 
promptly  went  soft  and  shapeless,  the  lining  came 


PROSPECTS  FOR  FOREIGN  TRADE  247 


out,  and  underneath  the  lining  was  a padding  of 
Japanese  newspapers. 

The  British  merchant  and  manufacturer  have 
a right  to  expect  that  their  Government  will  do 
something  to  protect  them  against  this  kind  of 
unfair  competition.  Friendly  representations  to  the 
Japanese  Government  would  go  far  to  check  it.  The 
Japanese  imitation  is  destroying  the  reputation  of 
the  British  original  from  Canton  to  Harbin. 

The  piece-goods  trade  in  Korea  is  gradually  being 
wiped  out  by  Japanese  competition.  A paragraph 
from  the  report  of  Messrs.  Noel,  Murray  & Co., 
of  Shanghai,  last  August,  gives  the  attitude  of  the 
leading  British  houses  engaged  in  this  business  in 
the  Far  East. 

“The  feelings  of  many  of  the  British  import 
houses  here  who  have  been  for  years  interested  in 
the  trade  of  Korea  can  better  be  imagined  than 
described  as  they  see  its  total  extinction  slowly  but 
surely  getting  nearer  and  nearer.  Probably  because 
the  British  trade  with  that  country  does  not  figure 
to  any  great  extent  in  the  Board  of  Trade  Returns, 
the  Government  does  not  consider  the  actions  of 
Japan  towards  that  country  are  worthy  of  notice. 
But  for  years  past  a steady  trade  in  Manchester 
goods  have  been  done  through  Shanghai,  and  this 
is  altogether  doomed  if  Japan  is  quietly  allowed  to 
absorb  the  trade,  as  she  is  evidently  trying  to  do, 
by  bringing  about  a Customs  Union.  The  report 
that  the  United  States  is  willing  to  aid  and  abet 
her  in  doing  so,  as  a sop  to  counteract  the  awkward 
situation  that  has  been  raised  over  the  immigration 


248  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


question,  is  only  natural,  considering  her  commercial 
relations  with  Korea  are  of  no  importance.  It  is, 
however,  quite  time  a halt  was  called  and  a re-valua- 
tion made  of  the  Open  Door  and  * fair  field  and 
no  favour  ’ protestations  that  were  so  much  to  the 
fore  a few  years  ago  both  with  regard  to  the 
Manchurian  and  Korean  trades.” 

Those  who  explain  the  expansion  of  Japanese 
commerce  in  Korea  solely  by  unfair  means  make 
a serious  mistake.  The  Japanese  traders  are  show- 
ing  great  enterprise  in  many  ways.  Not  unnaturally, 
they  secure  subsidies  wherever  they  can,  both  from 
the  Japanese  and  Korean  Governments.  One  of 
their  successful  methods  was  displayed  last  Sep- 
tember when  a big  exhibition  was  opened  in  the 
centre  of  Seoul.  The  exhibition  secured  a heavy 
grant  of  money  from  the  Korean  Government  and 
was  run  under  direct  official  patronage.  Great 
efforts  were  made  to  compel  the  new  Emperor  to 
open  it  in  person.  But  the  Emperor  was  obstinate, 
and  refused  to  come.  Parties  of  geisha  and  oiran, 
dressed  in  scarlet  knickers  and  fancy  garments, 
paraded  the  streets  with  music,  advertising  the 
show.  There  were  constant  geisha  entertainments 
in  the  grounds,  and  everything  was  done  to  attract 
the  people. 

The  exhibition  was  mainly  a display  of  Japanese 
manufactured  goods  of  all  kinds,  with  a few  general 
educational  items  added.  I searched  carefully  for 
Korean  or  foreign  articles,  but  all  that  I could 
find  were  reputed  French  wines,  displayed  by  a 
Japanese  firm.  Koreans  attended  in  great  num- 


PROSPECTS  FOR  FOREIGN  TRADE  249 


bers,  and  the  exhibition  resulted  in  a great  impetus 
to  the  sale  of  Japanese  goods  in  Korea. 

The  articles  shown  might  have  been  a revelation 
to  those  who  are  still  inclined  to  pooh-pooh  Japanese 
manufactures.  They  were  nearly  all,  it  is  true, 
imitations  of  European  designs.  In  furniture,  in 
pottery,  in  foods,  in  medicines,  the  one  idea  seemed 
to  be  to  approach  the  European  styles  as  closely 
as  possible.  The  European  discovers  much  to 
amuse  him  in  the  little  variations  between  these 
copies  and  our  own  originals.  The  Korean  buyer, 
however,  does  not  notice  the  difference.  To  him  the 
Japanese  imitation  is  as  good  as  the  other.  It  is  far 
cheaper.  It  is  pushed  on  him  by  a man  who  speaks 
his  language  and  knows  his  ways.  No  wonder  that 
it  sells,  while  the  European  wares  lie  unpacked  in 
the  warehouse. 


CHAPTER  XXI 


THE  WIDER  VIEW 


HE  policy  of  Japan  in  Korea  to-day  cannot  be 


J.  fully  understood  unless  it  is  regarded  not  as  an 
isolated  manifestation,  but  as  a part  of  a great 
Imperial  scheme.  Japan  has  set  out  to  be  a supreme 
world-Power,  and  she  is  rapidly  realising  her  ambi- 
tion. Yesterday  her  territory  was  limited,  her  people 
were  desperately  poor,  her  army  and  fleet  were 
thought  to  be  negligible  quantities,  and  her  aspira- 
tions were  pityingly  looked  upon  as  the  fevered 
dreams  of  an  undeveloped  people.  To-day  we  are 
in  danger  of  over-estimating  the  Japanese  force  and 
strength  as  greatly  as  yesterday  our  fathers  under- 
estimated it.  Japan  has  found  Imperialism  a costly, 
dangerous,  and  burdensome  policy.  Her  navy  and 
her  army  have  won  her  world-glory,  but  she  is  still 
struggling  and  staggering  under  a load  that  even  yet 
may  be  too  much  for  her. 

Japanese  statesmen  realise  that  they  must  have 
fresh  territories  in  which  to  settle  their  people.  Their 
own  land  is  crowded  and  over-populated.  Each  year 
sees  an  increase  of  from  600,000  to  700,000  people. 
The  33,000,000  in  the  Japan  of  1872  are  now  just  on 


THE  WIDER  VIEW 


251 


50,000,000,  and  the  rate  of  increase  grows  greater 
each  year.  The  vast  majority  of  these  people  are 
still  very  poor,  and  Japan  to-day  has  slums  in  her 
cities  and  problems  of  child-labour,  sweated  labour, 
and  starvation,  rivalling  those  of  Western  nations. 
Unbacked  by  great  natural  resources  or  by  consider- 
able reserves  of  wealth,  her  Government  is  trying  to 
carry  through  the  most  gigantic  and  costly  of  tasks 
on  a foundation  of  patriotism  and  splendid  national 
spirit. 

For  myself,  necessary  as  I have  thought  it  to  be 
in  carrying  out  my  duty  as  a publicist  to  criticise 
the  more  dangerous  sides  of  this  expansion,  I 
cannot  but  feel  the  most  profound  and  genuine 
respect  for  the  loyalty  and  high  racial  ambitions  that 
have  carried  the  nation  so  far.  The  casual  visitor 
to  Japan  to-day  sees  great  and  glaring  faults,  but 
those  of  us  who  have  lived  longer  among  her  people 
and  have  gone  deeper  into  her  problems,  wonder  not 
that  there  are  faults,  but  that  development  has  reached 
a stage  when  faults  are  noted. 

Not  long  since  I was  on  the  train  from  Seoul  to 
Fusan.  It  was  five  hours  late.  It  had  broken  down 
twice.  The  locomotive,  badly  cleaned  and  badly 
handled,  was  scarce  able  to  drag  its  load,  and 
carriages  had  been  discarded  to  lighten  it. 

Some  of  us,  standing  in  the  Korean  station — • 
wet,  cold,  and  miserable — were  passing  caustic 
remarks  about  Japanese  engine-drivers  and  the  way 
they  muddled  and  misused  their  engines.  A quiet 
Scotsman  turned  on  us  with  a single  question. 
“ Do  you  ever  reflect,”  he  asked,  “ on  the  wonder 


252 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


that  these  people  can  do  as  well  as  they  do  ? 
Think  of  it,”  he  continued.  “ The  driver  was 
probably  two  years  ago  an  agricultural  labourer  in 
a village,  and  had  never  seen  an  engine.  He  is 
running  this  train  badly,  it  is  true,  but  he  is  running 
it,  and  in  twelve  months’  time  he  will  be  handling  it 
well.  What  man  of  another  nation  could  have  done 
the  same  ? ” 

The  quiet  Scotsman  had  touched  the  heart  of  the 
problem.  It  is  barely  thirty  years  since  Japan  was 
still  torn  in  the  struggle  between  feudalism  and 
modernity.  The  men  who  to-day  are  managing 
cotton  mills  wore,  in  their  younger  manhood,  two 
swords  and  fantastic  armour.  Yesterday  the  kiheitai 
(irregular  soldiers)  walked  through  their  districts 
armed  to  the  teeth,  terrorising  peaceful  farmers ; 
now  the  same  kiheitai  work  their  ten  hours  a day  in 
the  factory  for  fifteen  pence.  Yesterday  the  dainty 
wife  sat  modestly  at  home  waiting  for  her  lord  to 
return  from  his  political  brawls  ; to-day  the  same 
wife  is  busy  over  the  spinning-jenny  in  the  factory, 
while  her  lord  is  doing  his  share  in  shop  or  ware- 
house. The  thing  is  a world-miracle,  and  the  longer 
one  contemplates  it  the  greater  the  miracle  appears. 

Japan  has  broken  her  solemn  promises  to  Korea 
and  has  evaded  in  every  way  her  pledged  obligations 
to  maintain  the  policy  of  equal  opportunities,  because 
she  is  driven  thereto  by  heavy  taxation,  by  the  poverty 
of  her  people,  and  by  the  necessity  of  obtaining  fresh 
markets  and  new  lands  for  settlement.  Her  people 
are  now  the  most  heavily  taxed  in  proportion  to 
income  of  any  in  the  world.  At  the  beginning  of 


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253 


the  Russo-Japanese  War  a scheme  of  Imperial  taxa- 
tion was  instituted  that  was  thought  to  reach  the 
final  extreme  possible  to  bear  as  a national  war 
burden.  This  taxation  was  further  increased  in  1905, 
it  being  understood  that  the  extraordinary  special 
taxes  were  to  be  abolished  on  the  last  day  of  the 
year  following  the  restoration  of  peace.  The  land 
tax  was  increased  during  the  war  from  120  to  700 
per  cent.,  the  business  tax  1 50  per  cent.,  the  income 
tax  from  80  to  270  per  cent.,  and  the  sugar  duties 
from  100  to  195  per  cent.  There  were  also  various 
other  increases.  Great  national  industries,  such  as 
tobacco  and  railways,  were  nationalised,  and  Japan 
succeeded  in  sending  up  her  ordinary  income  from 
£25,000,000  to  over  £40,000,000.  At  the  end  of  the 
war  the  Government  announced  that  under  existing 
circumstances  the  promised  remission  of  the  war 
tax  could  not  be  carried  out,  so  they  were  kept  on  to 
their  full  extent.  Now  for  the  financial  year  of  1908-9 
the  Government  is  compelled  to  impose  a number  of 
taxes  over  and  above  the  war  burden,  and  despite 
this  it  is  faced  by  the  probability  of  a heavy  deficit 
next  year. 

So  long  as  Japan  could  meet  the  deficiency  by 
foreign  loans,  the  problem  of  making  both  ends  meet 
was  capable  of  easy  solution.  But  the  most  opti- 
mistic financier  hesitates,  at  the  present  time,  to 
suggest  a loan  either  in  the  European  or  American 
markets.  For  months  a careful  campaign  has  been 
waged  to  enable  a new  loan  to  be  floated  in  Paris, 
but  so  far  without  success.  The  Manchurian  Rail- 
way issue  was  an  open  failure,  although  only  half 


254 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


of  the  money  really  needed  was  asked  for.  The 
Japanese  Finance  Commissioners  who  were  in  Europe 
last  summer  returned  home  disappointed.  “ You  can 
rest  assured,”  one  of  them  was  told  by  a leading 
financial  authority,  “ that  Europe  has  not  another 
sovereign  to  lend  Japan  for  increased  arma- 
ments.” 

The  monetary  difficulties  have  been  increased  by 
the  disastrous  results  of  commercial  speculation  in 
the  summer  of  1907,  when  large  numbers  of  banks 
and  institutions  failed.  The  situation  is  such  to-day 
that  the  Government  must  decide  on  one  of  two 
alternatives.  It  must  either  reduce  expenditure,  and 
thus  limit  some  of  its  cherished  schemes,  or  it  must 
find  excuse  for  an  aggressive  campaign  against  its 
wealthy  neighbour,  China.  It  is  this  which  may 
explain  the  Japanese  breaches  of  the  Open  Door 
policy.  The  Government,  no  doubt,  feels  that  it 
cannot  afford  to  miss  anything  that  would  expand 
its  commerce  and  improve  its  national  income. 

The  financial  problem  has  led,  in  turn,  to  the  labour 
problem.  The  inevitable  result  of  high  taxation  has 
been  to  raise  the  cost  of  living.  It  is  probably  an 
understatement  that  the  cost  of  living  has  doubled 
in  Japan  in  a few  years. 

One  outcome  of  this  rise  in  the  cost  of  living  has 
been  a series  of  formidable  strikes,  particularly 
among  the  miners — strikes  often  accompanied  by 
violence  and  loss  of  life.  In  April  last  several 
hundred  miners  at  the  Horolai  coal-mine  attempted 
to  destroy  the  mine  buildings,  fought  the  police, 
wounding  five  of  them,  and  set  fire  to  the  mine 


THE  WIDER  VIEW 


255 


offices  and  the  go-downs,  using  dynamite  to  destroy 
the  buildings. 

At  the  Ashio  copper-mine  the  men  rose,  cut  down 
the  telegraph  lines,  extinguished  all  the  lights  in  the 
pits,  blew  up  the  watch-houses  with  dynamite,  and 
started  a general  riot.  A bomb  was  thrown  into  the 
watch-house  and  blew  it  to  atoms.  The  rioters  were 
thoroughly  organised,  and  had  supplies  of  kerosene 
and  explosives  for  their  work.  In  the  end  a heavy 
body  of  troops  and  over  300  police  had  to  come 
and  restore  order.  In  this  riot  no  less  than  830 
houses  were  burnt  and  a number  of  lives  were  lost. 
At  the  Besshi  copper-mine,  in  June,  there  were 
serious  disturbances  and  grave  fights,  involving  a 
direct  loss  of  ,£200,000.  Offices  were  set  on  fire,  and 
damage  done  which  it  will  take  a year  to  repair.  In 
September  some  thousands  of  dyeing  operatives  went 
on  strike.  An  epidemic  of  strikes  ran  through  many 
industries. 

The  outcome  of  these  upheavals  has  been  that  the 
men  have  generally  obtained  large  increases  of  wages, 
in  some  cases  as  much  as  45  per  cent.  The  strike 
movement  is  not  yet  over  ; it  may  be  said  barely  to 
have  begun. 

This  rapid  increase  in  wages  is  wounding  the  new 
Japanese  manufacturers  in  their  most  vital  point.  An 
attempt  was  made  to  obtain  cheap  labour  last  year 
by  importing  a number  of  Chinese  coolies.  The 
Government  quickly  intervened,  and  had  the  coolies 
expelled,  to  the  accompaniment  of  considerable  in- 
dignity and  suffering.  Japan  has  no  hesitation  in 
protecting  herself  from  cheaper  labour,  whatever  she 


256  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


may  say  about  America  having  similar  protection 
for  her  people. 

This  labour  question  raises  yet  another  issue. 
Japan’s  success  as  a manufacturing  nation  has  so  far 
been  largely  due  to  the  low  wages  of  her  toilers.  The 
cotton  mills,  with  an  unlimited  supply  of  women 
workers  at  fivepence  a day,  and  children  at  a few 
pence  a week,  the  factories  with  skilled  workmen  earn- 
ing an  average  wage  of  sixty  sen  (i5d.)  a day,  are  able 
to  turn  out  goods  very  cheaply.  The  Japanese  work- 
ing man  is,  in  the  opinion  of  all  competent  authorities, 
not  nearly  so  capable  a handler  of  machinery  as  is 
the  European.  Generally  speaking,  it  takes  two 
Japanese  to  do  the  work  of  one  European  where 
much  machinery  is  used.  Japanese  deftness  lies 
largely  in  handicrafts. 

So  long  as  human  material  was  cheap  this  did  not 
much  matter.  But  now  we  have  labour  appreciating 
all  the  time,  until  in  some  districts  known  to  me 
two  shillings  a day  has  to  be  paid.  Firms  that  land 
goods  at  Japanese  ports  are  already  becoming  loud  in 
their  complaints  of  the  cost  of  handling  freight. 

The  Japanese  manufacturer  thus  finds  his  labour 
bill  rising,  while  his  direct  taxation  is  double  or 
treble  what  it  once  was.  At  the  same  time  a new 
commercial  rival  is  arising.  The  factory  system  is 
being  introduced  into  parts  of  China,  especially 
around  the  Yangtze  Valley,  and  the  Chinese  are 
beginning  to  produce,  on  a considerable  scale, 
certain  lines  of  goods  in  competition  with  Japan. 

In  China  labour  is  still  paid  a minimum  wage 
and  taxation  is  low.  The  Chinese  worker  is  at 


THE  WIDER  VIEW 


25 1 


least  equal  to  the  Japanese.  What  China  has  lacked 
up  to  now  has  been  Government  direction,  and  skilled 
Government  aid  in  finance,  in  securing  cheap  freight, 
and  in  finding  and  keeping  customers.  Dear  labour 
and  high  taxation  threaten  Japan  more  nearly  and 
more  seriously  than  any  Armada  from  foreign  lands. 

What  are  the  main  causes  of  these  crushing 
national  burdens?  They  are,  without  doubt,  mainly 
due  to  the  great  amount  spent  on  the  army  and  the 
navy  and  on  commercial  subsidies.  A great  parade 
was  made  in  some  quarters,  at  the  beginning  of 
1908,  because  of  an  announcment  that  the  Japanese 
Government  had  resolved  to  modify  its  military  and 
naval  expenditure  for  the  coming  year.  The  com- 
mentators were  probably  not  aware  that  this  so-called 
modification  was  merely  a slight  clipping  off  in 
a great  scheme  of  expansion.  Japan  still  spends 
twice  as  much  on  her  fighting  forces  as  five  years 
ago.  The  national  policy  since  the  conclusion  of  the 
treaty  of  Portsmouth  has  been,  as  it  was  previously, 
strongly  in  favour  of  the  rapid  and  considerable 
enlargement  of  both  the  fleet  and  the  army.  There 

is,  it  is  true,  a party,  both  in  the  Cabinet  and  out  of 

it,  that  would  keep  defence  expenditure  within 
bounds.  But  this  party  is  at  present  only  able  to 
exercise  a slightly  moderating  influence. 

A comparison  of  the  fighting  strength  of  the 
nation  immediately  before  the  war  and  to-day  will 
best  show  this.  At  the  end  of  1903  Japan  had  six 
good  battleships.  To-day  she  has  thirteen,  and  three 
more  are  being  built.  Of  these  thirteen  ships,  two — 
the  Satsuma  and  the  Aki — are  of  the  Dreadnought 

18 


258  THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


class,  and  exceed  the  Dreadnought  in  displacement. 
The  three  now  building  will  far  surpass  in  tonnage, 
horse-power,  and  armaments  our  own  coming 
monsters,  the  Bellerophon , Temeraire , and  the  Superb. 
Here  is  an  exact  comparison  : — 


Displacement  I.H.P. 

Bellerophon ...  J 

Temeraire  ...  > 18,600  23,500 

Superb j 


Armaments. 

10  12",  and  27 
small  Q.F. 


Displacement.  I.H.P. 
Japanese  battleships  22,000  26,500 


Armaments. 
12  12", 

10  8",  and 
12  47  Q.F. 


Before  the  war  Japan  had  six  efficient  armoured 
cruisers.  To-day  she  has  twelve,  besides  four  now 
being  built,  of  which  one  is  near  completion.  Some 
of  these  new  armoured  cruisers  are  battleships  in  all 
but  name.  As  against  fourteen  protected  cruisers 
before  the  war,  there  are  now  eighteen.  Her  nineteen 
destroyers  have  risen  to  fifty-four,  and  her  forty-five 
torpedo-boats  to  eighty-five.  In  addition,  she  has 
accumulated  a considerable  fleet  of  submarines. 
There  are  seven  in  commission  and  six  now  under 
construction.  It  is  not  too  much  to  say  that  the 
Japanese  Navy  is  to-day  nearly  twice  as  efficient  and 
powerful  as  it  was  three  months  before  the  outbreak 
of  the  Russian  War. 

The  increase  in  the  army  has  been  also  consider- 
able. At  the  close  of  the  Russian  campaign  the 
Minister  for  War,  General  Terauchi,  wanted  to 
resign,  and  was  only  induced  to  continue  in  office  by 
a promise  that  his  plans  for  the  expansion  of  the 


THE  WIDER  VIEW 


259 


army  would  be  considered  as  favourably  as  possible. 
The  war  party  asked  that  the  army  should  be  in- 
creased from  thirteen  to  twenty-five  divisions.  This 
was  afterwards  reduced  by  the  Minister  to  twenty- 
one  divisions.  The  Finance  Department  declared 
that  such  a programme  was  impossible,  for  the 
country  could  not  bear  the  burden.  As  a com- 
promise, it  was  decided  early  last  year  to  enlarge 
the  army  to  seventeen  divisions,  with  two  further 
divisions  in  Korea  and  Manchuria.  Other  increases 
took  place,  which  still  further  added  to  the  military 
strength.  Thus  the  time  for  infantry  training  was 
reduced  from  three  years  to  two.  As  need  hardly 
be  pointed  out,  this  will  give  the  infantry  a reserve, 
in  a few  years,  50  per  cent,  greater  than  before.  A 
thousand  men  were  added  to  each  division. 

The  Japanese  military  authorities  also  seriously  set 
themselves  to  eradicate  the  various  weaknesses 
revealed  in  their  organisation  during  the  Russian 
War.  In  England  a number  of  open  scandals  pre- 
ceded the  very  effective  changes  which  have  been 
made  in  our  land  forces  since  the  Peace  of  Vereenig- 
ing.  Japan  managed  better.  Scandals  were  sup- 
pressed, and  all  dirty  linen  was  washed  in  private, 
but  a most  careful  and  relentless  inquiry  was  insti- 
tuted behind  closed  doors. 

Cavalry  had  been  a conspicuously  weak  arm  of 
the  service  during  the  war.  Experts  were  called 
in  from  Austria  and  other  countries,  fresh  breeding 
stock  was  introduced,  and  the  authorities  will  accom- 
plish the  seemingly  impossible  task  of  making  real 
horse-masters  of  some  of  their  countrymen.  The 


26o 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


Japanese  field  artillery  was  hopelessly  out-classed  by 
the  Russian.  If  Japan  were  fighting  to-day  much 
of  her  field  artillery  would  be  found  equal  to  that 
of  any  other  Power.  Vast  sums  have  been  spent 
to  create  steel  foundries  in  Japan,  in  order  that 
the  country  may  be  able  to  supply  within  its  own 
borders  the  steel  used  for  war  material.  This  policy 
has  since  been  carried  a step  further,  and  late  last 
year  the  Japanese  finally  concluded  an  agreement 
with  Messrs.  Armstrong,  and  Vickers  and  Maxim 
by  which  Armstrong,  Vickers  and  the  Japanese  are  to 
build,  in  co-partnership,  works  in  Japan  itself.  These 
works  will  have  the  benefit  of  the  Armstrong  and 
Vickers  secrets  and  designs,  and  it  is  expected  that 
a monster  arsenal  will  be  created  at  the  Hokaido, 
doing  for  Asia  what  Krupps,  Armstrong,  Vickers, 
and  Creusot  have  accomplished  for  Europe. 

Steps  have  been  taken  to  increase  the  esprit  and 
the  military  pride  of  the  soldiery.  Soon  after  the 
war  more  ornamental  dressings  were  given  to 
military  uniforms,  and  the  Japanese  soldier  now,  in 
his  red  and  gold-trimmed  dress,  looks  very  different 
from  the  shapeless  and  slouching  yokel  who  formerly 
excited  the  derision  of  superficial  European  onlookers. 
There  is  nothing  extraordinary  in  this.  Japan  is 
only  following  the  line  taken  by  many  great  conquer- 
ing nations  before,  and  those  who  would  follow  the 
reasons  for  her  action  need  but  study  Napoleonic 
history.  Her  army  and  navy  are  at  once  her 
strength  and  danger.  Her  soldiers,  strong,  successful, 
and  determined,  look  with  some  scorn  on  the  quiet 
and  somewhat  sober  statesmen  who  keep  them  in 


THE  WIDER  VIEW 


261 

check.  They  are  working  out,  under  new  conditions, 
the  same  conclusions  that  have  always  made  the 
Samurai  the  strength  of  and  potentially  the  most 
dangerous  class  in  Japan. 

Happily  for  the  world,  while  the  military  clans  are 
strong,  they  are  not  yet  omnipotent.  There  is  a 
school  of  statesmen,  not  perhaps  a growing  school, 
that  sees  the  real  hope  of  Japan’s  future  in  peaceful 
expansion.  A generation  ago,  Okubo,  leader  of  those 
who  overthrew  the  Shogunate,  died  under  the  hands 
of  an  assassin  for  loyalty  to  his  principles.  Twelve 
years  ago  Ito  kept  his  countrymen  in  check  when 
they  were  furious  to  avenge  the  insults  that  were  put 
upon  them  by  Russia.  The  school  of  Okubo  and  Ito 
is  not  yet  dead.  Ito,  it  is  true,  is  laughed  at  by  many 
of  the  younger  men,  who  declare  that  while  his  ways 
were  good  enough  for  their  fathers,  they  have  entered 
into  a wider  inheritance,  and  will  prove  themselves 
worthy  of  it.  The  future  of  Japan,  the  future  of  the 
East,  and,  to  some  extent,  the  future  of  the  world, 
lies  in  the  answer  to  the  question  whether  the 
militarists  or  the  party  of  peaceful  expansion  gain 
the  upper  hand  in  the  immediate  future.  If  the 
one,  then  we  shall  have  harsher  rule  in  Korea,  steadily 
increasing  aggression  in  Manchuria,  growing  inter- 
ference with  China,  and,  in  the  end,  a Titanic 
conflict,  the  end  of  which  none  can  see.  Under  the 
others  Japan  will  enter  into  an  inheritance  wider, 
more  glorious  and  more  assured  than  any  Asiatic 
power  has  attained  for  many  centuries.  Given  peace 
and  fair  dealing,  her  commerce  cannot  fail  to  expand 
by  leaps  and  bounds.  Once  her  merchants  have  learnt 


262 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  KOREA 


to  purge  .hemselves  of  their  inherited  trickery,  once 
they  have  discovered  that  bogus  trade-marks,  poor 
substitutes,  and  smartness  do  not  build  up  permanent 
connections,  their  future  is  certain.  Japan  has  it  in 
her  yet  to  be,  not  the  Mistress  of  the  East,  reigning, 
sword  in  hand,  over  subject  races — for  that  she  can 
never  permanently  be — but  the  bringer  of  peace  to 
and  the  teacher  of  the  East.  Will  she  choose  the 
nobler  end  ? 


APPENDICES 


THE  TRIAL  OF  VISCOUNT  MIURA 

THE  following  is  the  full  text  of  the  findings  of  the  Japanese  Court 
of  Preliminary  Inquiries  that  tried  Viscount  Miura  and  his 
associates  for  the  murder  of  the  Queen  of  Korea : — 

“ Okamoto  Ryunosuke,  born  the  8th  month  of  the  5th  year  of 
Kaei  (1852),  Adviser  to  the  Korean  Departments  of  War  and 
of  the  Household,  shizoku  of  Usu,  Saiga  Mura,  Umibe  Gun, 
Wakayama  Ken. 

“ Miura  Goro,  Viscount,  Sho  Sammi,  first-class  Order,  Lieutenant- 
General  (first  reserve),  born  nth  month  3rd  year  Kokwa 
(1846),  kwazoku  of  Nakotomisaka  Cho,  Koishikawa  ku,  Tokyo 
Shi,  Tokyo  Fu. 

“Sugimura  Fukashi,  Sho  Rokui,  First  Secretary  of  Legation,  born 
1st  month  1st  year  Kaei  (1848),  heimin  of  Suga  Cho, 
Yotsuyaku,  Tokyo  Shi,  Tokyo  Fu,  and  forty-five  others. 

“ Having,  in  compliance  with  the  request  of  the  Public  Procurator, 
conducted  preliminary  examinations  in  the  case  of  murder  and  sedition 
brought  against  the  above-mentioned  Okamoto  Ryunosuke  and  forty- 
seven  others,  and  that  of  wilful  homicide  brought  against  the  afore- 
mentioned Hirayama  Iwawo,  we  find  as  follows  : — 

“ The  accused,  Miura  Goro,  assumed  his  official  duties  as  His 
Imperial  Majesty’s  Envoy  Extraordinary  and  Minister  Plenipotentiary 
at  Seoul!  on  the  1st  September,  the  28th  year  of  Meiji  (1895). 
According  to  his  observations,  things  in  Korea  were  tending  in  a 
wrong  direction.  The  Court  was  daily  growing  more  and  more 
arbitrary,  and  attempting  wanton  interference  with  the  conduct  of 
State  affairs.  Disorder  and  confusion  were  in  this  way  introduced  into 
the  system  of  administration  that  had  just  been  reorganised  under  the 
guidance  and  advice  of  the  Imperial  Government.  The  Court  went 
so  far  in  turning  its  back  on  Japan  that  a project  was  mooted  for 

263 


264 


APPENDICES 


disbanding  the  Kunrentai  troops,  drilled  by  Japanese  officers,  and 
punishing  their  officers.  Moreover,  a report  came  to  the  know- 
ledge of  the  said  Miura  that  the  Court  had  under  contemplation  a 
scheme  for  usurping  all  political  power  by  degrading  some  and 
killing  others  of  the  Cabinet  Ministers  suspected  of  devotion  to  the 
cause  of  progress  and  independence.  Under  these  circumstances,  he 
was  greatly  perturbed,  inasmuch  as  he  thought  that  the  attitude 
assumed  by  the  Court  not  only  showed  remarkable  ingratitude 
towards  this  country  which  had  spent  labour  and  money  for  the 
sake  of  Korea,  but  was  also  calculated  to  thwart  the  work  of 
internal  reform  and  jeopardise  the  independence  of  the  Kingdom. 
The  policy  pursued  by  the  Court  was  consequently  considered  to  be 
injurious  to  Korea,  as  well  as  prejudicial,  in  no  small  degree,  to 
the  interests  of  this  country.  The  accused  felt  it  to  be  of  urgent 
importance  to  apply  an  effective  remedy  to  this  state  of  things,  so 
as  on  the  one  hand  to  secure  the  independence  of  the  Korean 
Kingdom,  and,  on  the  other,  to  maintain  the  prestige  of  this 
Empire  in  that  country.  While  thoughts  like  these  agitated  his 
mind,  he  was  secretly  approached  by  the  Tai  Won  Kun  with  a 
request  for  assistance,  the  Prince  being  indignant  at  the  untoward 
turn  that  events  were  taking,  and  having  determined  to  undertake 
the  reform  of  the  Court  and  thus  discharge  his  duty  of  advising  the 
King.  The  accused  then  held  at  the  Legation  a conference  with 
Sugimura  Fukashi  and  Okamoto  Ryunosuke,  on  the  3rd  October 
last.  The  decision  arrived  at  on  that  occasion  was  that  assistance 
should  be  rendered  to  the  Tai  Won  Kun’s  entry  into  the  palace  by 
making  use  of  the  Kunrentai,  who,  being  hated  by  the  Court,  felt 
themselves  in  danger,  and  of  the  young  men  who  deeply  lamented 
the  course  of  events,  and  also  by  causing  the  Japanese  troops  stationed  in 
Seoul  to  offer  their  support  to  the  enterprise.  It  was  further  resolved 
that  this  opportunity  should  be  availed  of  for  taking  the  life  of  the 
Queen,  who  exercised  overwhelming  influence  in  the  Court.  They 
at  the  same  time  thought  it  necessary  to  provide  against  the 
possible  danger  of  the  Tai  Won  Kun’s  interfering  with  the  conduct 
of  State  affairs  in  the  future — an  interference  that  might  prove  of  a 
more  evil  character  than  that  which  it  was  now  sought  to  over- 
turn. To  this  end,  a document  containing  pledges  required  of  the 
Tai  Won  Kun  on  four  points  was  drawn  by  Sugimura  Fukashi. 
The  document  was  carried  to  the  country  residence  of  the  Tai  Won 
Kun  at  Kong-tok-ri  on  the  15th  of  the  month  by  Okamoto 
Ryunosuke,  the  latter  being  on  intimate  terms  with  His  Highness. 
After  informing  the  Tai  Won  Kun  that  the  turn  of  events  demanded 
His  Highness’s  intervention  once  more,  Okamoto  presented  the 


APPENDICES 


265 


note  to  the  Prince,  saying  that  it  embodied  what  Minister  Miura 
expected  from  him.  The  Tai  Won  Kun,  together  with  his  son 
and  grandson,  gladly  assented  to  the  conditions  proposed  and  also  wrote 
a letter  guaranteeing  his  good  faith.  Miura  Goro  and  others 
decided  to  carry  out  the  concerted  plan  by  the  middle  of  the 
month.  Fearing  lest  Okamoto’s  visit  to  Kong-tok-ri  (the  Tai  Won 
Kun’s  residence)  should  excite  suspicion  and  lead  to  the  exposure 
of  their  plan,  it  was  given  out  that  he  had  proceeded  thither 
simply  for  the  purpose  of  taking  leave  of  the  Prince  before  depart- 
ing from  home,  and  to  impart  an  appearance  of  probability  to 
this  report  it  was  decided  that  Okamoto  should  leave  Seoul  for 
Ninsen  (Inchhon),  and  he  took  his  departure  from  the  capital  on 
the  6th.  On  the  following  day,  An  Keiju,  the  Korean  Minister  of 
State  for  War,  visited  the  Japanese  Legation  by  order  of  the 
Court.  Referring  to  the  projected  disbanding  of  the  Kunrentai 
troops,  he  asked  the  Japanese  Minister’s  views  on  the  subject.  It  was 
now  evident  that  the  moment  had  arrived,  and  that  no  more  delay 
should  be  made.  Miura  Goro  and  Sugimura  Fukashi  consequently 
determined  to  carry  out  the  plot  on  the  night  of  that  very  day.  On 
the  one  hand  a telegram  was  sent  to  Okamoto  requesting  him  to 
come  back  to  Seoul  at  once,  and  on  the  other  they  delivered  to 
Horiguchi  Kumaichi  a paper  containing  a detailed  programme 
concerning  the  entry  of  the  Tai  Won  Kun  into  the  palace,  and 
caused  him  to  meet  Okamoto  at  Yong-san  so  that  they  might  proceed 
to  enter  the  palace.  Miura  Goro  further  issued  instructions  to 
Umayabara  Muhon,  Commander  of  the  Japanese  Battalion  in  Seoul, 
ordering  him  to  facilitate  the  Tai  Won  Kun’s  entry  into  the  palace  by 
directing  the  disposition  of  the  Kunrentai  troops,  and  by  calling 
out  the  Imperial  force  for  their  support.  Miura  also  summoned 
the  accused,  Adachi  Kenzo  and  Kunitomo  Shigeakira,  and  requested 
them  to  collect  their  friends,  meeting  Okamoto  at  Yong-san,  and 
act  as  the  Tai  Won  Kun’s  bodyguard  on  the  occasion  of  His  High- 
ness’s entrance  into  the  palace.  Miura  told  them  that  on  the  success  of 
the  enterprise  depended  the  eradication  of  the  evils  that  had 
done  so  much  mischief  in  the  Kingdom  for  the  past  twenty  years, 
and  instigated  them  to  dispatch  the  Queen  when  they  entered  the 
palace.  Miura  ordered  the  accused,  Ogiwara  Hidejiro,  to  proceed 
to  Yong-san,  at  the  head  of  the  police  force  under  him,  and  after 
consultation  with  Okamoto  to  take  such  steps  as  might  be  neces- 
sary to  expedite  the  Tai  Won  Kun’s  entry  into  the  palace. 

“The  accused,  Sugimura  Fukashi,  summoned  Suzuki  Shigemoto 
and  Asayama  Kenzo  to  the  Legation,  and  after  acquainting  them 
with  the  projected  enterprise,  directed  the  former  to  send  the 


266 


APPENDICES 


accused,  Suzuki  Junken,  to  Yong-san  to  act  as  interpreter,  and  the 
latter  to  carry  the  news  to  a Korean  named  Li  Shukwei,  who  was 
known  to  be  a warm  advocate  of  the  Tai  Won  Kun’s  return  to  the 
palace.  Sugimura  further  drew  up  a manifesto  explaining  the 
reason  of  the  Tai  Won  Kun’s  entry  into  the  palace,  and  charged 
Ogiwara  Hidejiro  to  deliver  it  to  Horiguichi  Kumaichi. 

“The  accused,  Iloriguchi  Kumaichi,  at  once  departed  for  Yong- 
san  on  horseback.  Ogiwara  Hidejiro  issued  orders  to  the  police- 
men that  were  off  duty  to  put  on  civilian  dress,  provide  themselves 
with  swords  and  proceed  to  Yong-san.  Ogiwara  himself  also  went 
to  the  same  place. 

“ Thither  also  repaired  by  his  order  the  accused,  Watanabe 
Takajiro,  Nariai  Kishiro,  Oda  Yoshimitsu,  Kiwaki  Sukunorin,  and 
Sakai  Masataro. 

“The  accused,  Yokowo  Yutaro,  joined  the  party  at  Yong-san. 
Asayama  Kenzo  saw  Li  Shukwei,  and  informed  him  of  the  pro- 
jected enterprise  against  the  palace  that  night.  Having  ascertained 
that  Li  had  then  collected  a few  other  Koreans  and  proceeded 
towards  Kong-tok-ri,  Asayama  at  once  left  for  Yong-san.  Sukuzi 
Shigemoto  went  to  Yong-san  in  company  with  Sukuzi  Junken. 
The  accused,  Adachi  Kenzo  and  Kunitomo  Shigearika,  at  the 
instigation  of  Miura,  decided  to  murder  the  Queen,  and  took  steps 
for  collecting  accomplices.  The  accused,  Hirayama  Iwabiko,  Sassa 
Masayuki,  Matsumura  Tatsuki,  Sasaki  Tadasu,  Ushijima  Hidewo, 
Kobayakawa  Hidewo,  Miyazumi  Yuki,  Sato  Keita,  Sawamura 
Masao,  Katano  Takewo,  Fuji  Masashira,  Hirata  Shizen,  Kikuchi 
Kenjo,  Yoshida  Tomokichi,  Nakamura  Takewo,  Namba  Harukichi, 
Terasaki  Taikichi,  Iyuri  Kakichi,  Tanaka  Kendo,  Kumabe  Yone- 
kichi,  Tsukinari  Taru,  Yamada  Ressei,  Sase  Kumatetsu,  and 
Shibaya  Kotoji,  responded  to  the  call  of  Adachi  Kenzo  and  Kuni- 
tomo Shigeakira  by  Miura’s  order  to  act  as  bodyguard  to  the 
Tai  Won  Kun  on  the  occasion  of  his  entry  to  the  palace. 
Hirayama  Iwahiko  and  more  than  ten  others  were  directed  by  Adachi 
Kenzo,  Kunitomo  Shigeakira,  and  others  to  do  away  with  the 
Queen,  and  they  resolved  to  follow  the  advice.  The  others,  who 
were  not  admitted  into  this  secret  but  who  joined  the  party  from 
mere  curiosity,  also  carried  weapons.  With  the  exception  of  Kunitomo 
Shigeakira,  Tsukinari  Taru,  and  two  others,  all  the  accused  men- 
tioned above  went  to  Yong-san  in  company  with  Adachi  Kenzo. 

“The  accused,  Okamoto  Ryunosuke,  on  receipt  of  a telegram 
stating  that  time  was  urgent,  at  once  left  Ninsen  for  Seoul.  Being 
informed  on  his  way,  about  midnight,  that  Horiguchi  Kumaichi  was 


APPENDICES 


267 


waiting  for  him  at  Mapho,  he  proceeded  thither  and  met  the  persons 
assembled  there.  There  he  received  from  Horiguchi  Kumaichi  a 
letter  from  Miura  Goro,  the  draft  manifesto  already  alluded  to,  and 
other  documents.  After  he  had  consulted  with  two  or  three  others 
about  the  method  of  effecting  an  entry  into  the  palace,  the  whole  party 
started  for  Kong-tok-ri,  with  Okamoto  as  their  leader.  At  about 
3 a.m.  on  the  8th  they  left  Kong-tok-ri,  escorting  the  Tai  Won  Kun’s 
palanquin,  together  with  Li  Shukwei  and  other  Koreans.  When 
on  the  point  of  departure,  Okamoto  assembled  the  whole  party 
outside  the  front  gate  of  the  Prince’s  residence,  declaring  that  on 
entering  the  palace  the  ‘ fox  ’ should  be  dealt  with  according  as 
exigency  might  require,  the  obvious  purport  of  this  declaration  being  to 
instigate  his  followers  to  murder  Her  Majesty  the  Queen.  As  the 
result  of  this  declaration  Sakai  Masataro  and  a few  others,  who  had 
not  yet  been  initiated  into  the  secret,  resolved  to  act  in  accordance 
with  the  suggestion.  Then  slowly  proceeding  towards  Seoul,  the 
party  met  the  Kunrentai  troops  outside  the  west  gate  of  the 
capital,  where  they  waited  some  time  for  the  arrival  of  the  Japanese 
troops. 

“ With  the  Kunrentai  as  vanguard,  the  party  then  proceeded  towards 
the  palace  at  a more  rapid  rate.  On  the  way  they  were  joined  by 
Kunitomo  Shigeakira,  Tsukinari  Taru,  Yamada  Ressei,  Sase  Kuma- 
tetsu,  and  Shibuya  Katoji.  The  accused,  Hasumoto,  Yasumaru,  and 
Oura  Shigehiko,  also  joined  the  party,  having  been  requested  by 
Umagabara  Muhon  to  accompany  as  interpreters  the  military  officers 
charged  with  the  supervision  of  the  Kunrentai  troops.  About  dawn 
the  whole  party  entered  the  palace  through  the  Kwang-hwa  Gate,  and 
at  once  proceeded  to  the  inner  chambers. 

“ Notwithstanding  these  facts,  there  is  no  sufficient  evidence  to  prove 
that  any  of  the  accused  actually  committed  the  crime  originally  medi- 
tated by  them.  Neither  is  there  sufficient  evidence  to  establish  the 
charge  that  Hirayama  Iwahiko  killed  Li  Koshoku,  the  Korean  Minister 
of  the  Household,  in  front  of  the  Kon-Chong  palace. 

“As  to  the  accused,  Shiba  Shiro,  Osaki  Masakichi,  Yoshida  Hanji, 
Mayeda  Shunzo,  Hirayama  Katsukuma,  and  Hiraishi  Yoshitaro,  there 
is  not  sufficient  evidence  to  show  that  they  were  in  any  way  connected 
with  the  affair. 

“For  these  reasons  the  accused,  each  and  all,  are  hereby  discharged 
in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  article  165  of  the  Code  of 
Criminal  Procedure.  The  accused,  Miura  Goro,  Sugimura  Fukashi, 
Okamoto  Ryunosuke,  Adachi  Kenzo,  Kunitomo  Shigeakira,  Terasaki 
Taikichi,  Hirayama  Iwabiko,  Nakamura  Takewo,  Fuji  Masashira,  Iyuri 
Kakichi,  Kiwaki  Sukenori,  and  Sokoi  Masutaro,  are  hereby  released 


268 


APPENDICES 


from  confinement.  The  documents  and  other  articles  seized  in  con- 
nection with  this  case  are  restored  to  their  respective  owners. 

“ Given  at  the  Hiroshima  Local  Court  by 

“Yoshida  Yoshihide, 

“ Judge  of  Preliminary  Enquiry  ; 
“ Tamura  Yoshiharu, 

“ Clerk  of  the  Court. 

“ Dated,  20th  day  of  the  1st  month  of  the  29th  year  of  Meiji. 

“This  copy  has  been  taken  from  the  original  text. — Clerk  of  the 
Local  Court  of  Hiroshima.” 


THE  JAPANESE-KOREAN  TREATY,  FEBRUARY  26,  1876 


The  Governments  of  Japan  and  Chosen,  being  desirous  to  resume  the 
amicable  relations  that  of  yore  existed  between  them,  and  to  promote 
the  friendly  feelings  of  both  nations  to  a still  firmer  basis,  have  for  this 
purpose  appointed  their  Plenipotentiaries,  that  is  to  say : The 
Government  of  Japan,  Kuroda  Kiyotaka,  High  Commissioner  Extra- 
ordinary to  Chosen,  Lieutenant-General  and  Member  of  the  Privy 
Council,  Minister  of  the  Colonisation  Department,  and  Inouye  Kaoru, 
Associate  High  Commissioner  Extraordinary  to  Chosen,  Member  of 
the  Genro  In ; and  the  Government  of  Chosen,  Shin  Ken,  Han-Choo- 
Su-Fu,  and  In-Jisho,  Fu-So-Fu,  Fuku-so-Kwan,  who,  according  to  the 
powers  received  from  their  respective  Governments,  have  agreed  upon 
and  concluded  the  following  Articles  : — 

Art.  I. — Chosen  being  an  independent  state  enjoys  the  same 
sovereign  rights  as  does  Japan. 

In  order  to  prove  the  sincerity  of  the  friendship  existing  between  the 
two  nations,  their  intercourse  shall  henceforward  be  carried  on  in  terms 
of  equality  and  courtesy,  each  avoiding  the  giving  of  offence  by 
arrogance  or  manifestations  of  suspicion. 

In  the  first  instance,  all  rules  and  precedents  that  are  apt  to  obstruct 
friendly  intercourse  shall  be  totally  abrogated,  and,  in  their  stead,  rules, 
liberal  and  in  general  usage  fit  to  secure  a firm  and  perpetual  peace, 
shall  be  established. 

Art.  II. — The  Government  of  Japan,  at  any  time  within  fifteen 
months  from  the  date  of  signature  of  this  Treaty,  shall  have  the  right  to 
send  an  Envoy  to  the  Capital  of  Chosen,  where  he  shall  be  admitted  to 
confer  with  the  Rei-sohan-sho  on  matters  of  a diplomatic  nature.  He 
may  either  reside  at  the  capital  or  return  to  his  country  on  the  com- 
pletion of  his  mission. 

The  Government  of  Chosen  in  like  manner  shall  have  the  right  to 
send  an  Envoy  to  Tokyo,  Japan,  where  he  shall  be  admitted  to  confer 
with  the  Minister  for  Foreign  Affairs  on  matters  of  a diplomatic  nature. 

269 


270 


APPENDICES 


He  may  either  reside  at  Tokyo  or  return  home  on  the  completion  of 
his  mission. 

Art.  III. — All  official  communications  addressed  by  the  Government 
of  Japan  to  that  of  Chosen  shall  be  written  in  the  Japanese  language, 
and  for  a period  of  ten  years  from  the  present  date  they  shall  be 
accompanied  by  a Chinese  translation.  The  Government  of  Chosen 
will  use  the  Chinese  language. 

Art.  IV. — Sorio  in  Fusan,  Chosen,  where  an  official  establishment 
of  Japan  is  situated,  is  a place  originally  opened  for  commercial  inter- 
course with  Japan,  and  trade  shall  henceforward  be  carried  on  at  that 
place  in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  this  Treaty,  whereby  are 
abolished  all  former  usages,  such  as  the  practice  of  Sai-ken-sen  (junk 
annually  sent  to  Chosen  by  the  late  Prince  of  Tsushima  to  exchange  a 
certain  quantity  of  articles  between  each  other). 

In  addition  to  the  above  place,  the  Government  of  Chosen  agrees 
to  open  two  ports,  as  mentioned  in  Article  V.  of  this  Treaty,  for 
commercial  intercourse  with  Japanese  subjects. 

In  the  foregoing  places  Japanese  subjects  shall  be  free  to  lease  land 
and  to  erect  buildings  thereon,  and  to  rent  buildings  the  property  of 
subjects  of  Chosen. 

Art.  V. — On  the  coast  of  five  provinces,  viz.  : Keikin,  Chiusei, 
Jenra,  Kensho,  and  Kankio,  two  ports,  suitable  for  commercial  purposes, 
shall  be  selected,  and  the  time  for  opening  these  two  ports  shall  be  in 
the  twentieth  month  from  the  second  month  of  the  ninth  year  of  Meiji, 
corresponding  with  the  date  of  Chosen,  the  first  moon  of  the  year 
Hei-shi. 

Art.  VI. — Whenever  Japanese  vessels,  either  by  stress  of  weather  or 
by  want  of  fuel  and  provisions,  cannot  reach  one  or  the  other  of  the  open 
ports  in  Chosen,  they  may  enter  any  ports  or  harbour  either  to  take 
refuge  therein,  or  to  get  supplies  of  wood,  coal,  and  other  necessaries, 
or  to  make  repairs ; the  expenses  incurred  thereby  are  to  be  defrayed  by 
the  ship’s  master.  In  such  events  both  the  officers  and  the  people  of 
the  locality  shall  display  their  sympathy  by  rendering  full  assistance, 
and  their  liberality  in  supplying  the  necessaries  required. 

If  any  vessel  of  either  country  be  at  any  time  wrecked  or  stranded  on 
the  coasts  of  Japan  or  of  Chosen,  the  people  of  the  vicinity  shall 
immediately  use  every  exertion  to  rescue  her  crew,  and  shall  inform  the 
local  authorities  of  the  disaster,  who  will  either  send  the  wrecked 
persons  to  their  native  country  or  hand  them  over  to  the  officer  of  their 
country  residing  at  the  nearest  port. 

Art.  VII. — The  coasts  of  Chosen,  having  hitherto  been  left  un- 
surveyed, are  very  dangerous  for  vessels  approaching  them,  and  in  order 
to  prepare  charts  showing  the  positions  of  islands,  rocks,  and  reefs,  as 


APPENDICES 


271 


well  as  the  depth  of  water  whereby  all  navigators  may  be  enabled  to 
pass  between  the  two  countries,  any  Japanese  mariners  may  freely 
survey  said  coasts. 

Art.  VIII. — There  shall  be  appointed  by  the  Government  of  Japan 
an  officer  to  reside  at  the  open  ports  in  Chosen  for  the  protection  of 
Japanese  merchants  resorting  there,  providing  such  arrangement  be 
deemed  necessary.  Should  any  question  interesting  both  nations  arise, 
the  said  officer  shall  confer  with  the  local  authorities  of  Chosen  and 
settle  it. 

Art.  IX. — Friendly  relations  having  been  established  between  the 
two  contracting  parties,  their  respective  subjects  may  freely  carry  on 
their  business  without  any  interference  from  the  officers  of  either 
Government,  and  neither  limitation  nor  prohibition  shall  be  made  on 
trade. 

In  case  any  fraud  be  committed,  or  payment  of  debt  be  refused  by 
any  merchant  of  either  country,  the  officers  of  either  one  or  of  the  other 
Government  shall  do  their  utmost  to  bring  the  delinquent  to  justice  and 
to  enforce  recovery  of  the  debt. 

Neither  the  Japanese  nor  the  Chosen  Government  shall  be  held 
responsible  for  the  payment  of  such  debt. 

Art.  X. — Should  a Japanese  subject  residing  at  either  of  the  open 
ports  of  Chosen  commit  any  offence  against  a subject  of  Chosen,  he  shall 
be  tried  by  the  Japanese  authorities.  Should  a subject  of  Chosen 
commit  any  offence  against  a Japanese  subject,  he  shall  be  tried  by  the 
authorities  of  Chosen.  The  offenders  shall  be  punished  according  to 
the  laws  of  their  respective  countries.  Justice  shall  be  equitably  and 
impartially  administered  on  both  sides. 

Art.  XI. — Friendly  relations  having  been  established  between  the 
two  contracting  parties,  it  is  necessary  to  prescribe  trade  relations  for 
the  benefit  of  the  merchants  of  the  respective  countries. 

Such  trade  regulations,  together  with  detailed  provisions  to  be  added 
to  the  Articles  of  the  present  Treaty,  to  develop  its  meaning  and 
facilitate  its  observance,  shall  be  agreed  upon  at  the  capital  of  Chosen 
or  at  Kokwa  Fu  in  the  country,  within  six  months  from  the  present 
date,  by  Special  Commissioners  appointed  by  the  two  countries. 

Art.  XII. — The  foregoing  eleven  Articles  are  binding  from  the  date 
of  the  signing  thereof,  and  shall  be  observed  by  the  two  contracting 
parties,  faithfully  and  invariably,  whereby  perpetual  friendship  shall  be 
secured  to  the  two  countries. 

The  present  Treaty  is  executed  in  duplicate,  and  copies  will  be 
exchanged  between  the  two  contracting  parties. 

In  faith  whereof  we,  the  respective  Plenipotentiaries  of  Japan  and 
Chosen,  have  affixed  our  seals  hereunto,  this  twenty-sixth  day  of  the 


272 


APPENDICES 


second  month  of  the  ninth  year  of  Meiji,  and  the  two  thousand  five 
hundred  and  thirty-sixth  since  the  accession  of  Jimmu  Tenno  ; and,  in 
the  era  of  Chosen,  the  second  day  of  the  second  moon  of  the  year 
Heishi,  and  of  the  founding  of  Chosen  the  four  hundred  and  eighty- 
fifth. 


(Signed)  Kuroda  Kiyotaka. 
Inouye  Kaoru. 
Shin  Ken. 

In  Ji-sho. 


SUPPLEMENTARY  TREATY  BETWEEN  JAPAN  AND 
KOREA 


Whereas,  on  the  twenty-sixth  day  of  the  second  month  of  the  ninth 
year  Meiji,  corresponding  with  the  Korean  date  of  the  second  day  of 
the  second  month  of  the  year  Heishi,  a Treaty  of  Amity  and  Friendship 
was  signed  and  concluded  between  Kuroda  Kiyotaka,  Pligh  Com- 
missioner Extraordinary,  Lieutenant-General  of  H.I.J.M.  Army, 
Member  of  the  Privy  Council,  and  Minister  of  the  Colonisation  Depart- 
ment, and  Inouye  Kaoru,  Associate  High  Commissioner  Extraordinary 
and  Member  of  the  Genro-In,  both  of  whom  had  been  directed  to 
proceed  to  the  city  of  Kokwa  in  Korea  by  the  Government  of  Japan  ; 
and  Shin  Ken,  Dai  Kwan,  Han-Choo-Su-Fu,  and  Injisho,  Fu-So- 
Fu  Fuku-so-Kwan,  both  of  whom  had  been  duly  commissioned  for  that 
purpose  by  the  Government  of  Korea  : — 

Now  therefore,  in  pursuance  of  Article  XI.  of  the  above  Treaty, 
Miyamoto  Okadzu,  Commissioner  despatched  to  the  capital  of  Korea, 
Daijo  of  the  Foreign  Department,  and  duly  empowered  thereto  by  the 
Government  of  Japan,  and  Chio  Inki,  Koshoo  Kwan,  Gisheifudosho, 
duly  empowered  thereto  by  the  Government  of  Korea,  have  negotiated 
and  concluded  the  following  articles  : — 

Art.  I. — Agents  of  the  Japanese  Government  stationed  at  any 
of  the  open  ports  shall  hereafter,  whenever  a Japanese  vessel  has 
been  stranded  on  the  Korean  coast,  and  has  need  of  their  presence  at 
the  spot,  have  the  right  to  proceed  there  on  their  informing  the  local 
authorities  of  the  facts. 

Art.  II. — Envoys  or  Agents  of  the  Japanese  Government  shall 
hereafter  be  at  full  liberty  to  despatch  letters  or  other  communications 
to  any  place  or  places  in  Korea,  either  by  post  at  their  own  expense, 
or  by  hiring  inhabitants  of  the  locality  wherein  they  reside  as  special 
couriers. 

Art.  III. — Japanese  subjects  may,  at  the  ports  of  Korea  open  to 
them,  lease  land  for  the  purpose  of  erecting  residences  thereon,  the  rent 
to  be  fixed  by  mutual  agreement  between  the  lessee  and  the  owner. 

Any  lands  belonging  to  the  Korean  Government  may  be  rented  by  a 

19  2” 


274 


APPENDICES 


Japanese  on  his  paying  the  same  rent  thereon  as  a Korean  subject 
would  pay  to  his  Government. 

It  is  agreed  that  the  Shumon  (watch-gate)  and  the  Shotsumon 
(barrier)  erected  by  the  Korean  Government  near  the  Kokwa  (Japanese 
official  establishment)  in  Sorioko,  Fusan,  shall  be  entirely  removed, 
and  that  a new  boundary  line  shall  be  established  according  to  the 
limits  hereinafter  provided.  In  the  other  two  open  ports  the  same 
steps  shall  be  taken. 

Art.  IV. — The  limits  within  which  Japanese  subjects  may  travel 
from  the  port  of  Fusan  shall  be  comprised  within  a radius  of  ten  ri, 
Korean  measurement,  the  landing-place  in  that  port  being  taken  as  a 
centre. 

Japanese  subjects  shall  be  free  to  go  where  they  please  within 
the  above  limits,  and  shall  be  therein  at  full  liberty  either  to  buy 
articles  of  local  production  or  to  sell  articles  of  Japanese  production. 

The  town  of  Torai  lies  outside  of  the  above  limits,  but  Japanese 
subjects  shall  have  the  same  privileges  as  in  those  places  within  them. 

Art.  V. — Japanese  subjects  shall  at  each  of  the  open  ports  of  Korea 
be  at  liberty  to  employ  Korean  subjects. 

Korean  subjects,  on  obtaining  permission  from  their  Government, 
may  visit  the  Japanese  Empire. 

Art.  VI. — In  the  case  of  the  death  of  any  Japanese  subject  residing 
at  the  open  ports  of  Korea,  a suitable  spot  of  ground  shall  be  selected 
wherein  to  inter  his  remains. 

As  to  the  localities  to  be  selected  for  cemeteries  in  the  two  open 
ports  other  than  the  port  of  Fusan,  in  determining  them  regard  shall 
be  had  as  to  the  distance  there  is  to  the  cemetery  already  established 
at  Fusan. 

Art.  VII. — Japanese  subjects  shall  be  at  liberty  to  traffic  in  any 
article  owned  by  Korean  subjects,  paying  therefor  in  Japanese  coin. 
Korean  subjects,  for  purposes  of  trade,  may  freely  circulate  among 
themselves  at  the  open  ports  of  Korea  such  Japanese  coin  as  they  may 
have  possession  of  in  business  transactions. 

Japanese  subjects  shall  be  at  liberty  to  use  in  trade  or  to  carry  away 
with  them  the  copper  coin  of  Korea. 

In  case  any  subject  of  either  of  the  two  countries  counterfeit  the 
coin  of  either  of  them,  he  shall  be  punished  according  to  the  laws  of 
his  own  country. 

Art.  VIII. — Korean  subjects  shall  have  the  full  fruition  of  all  and 
every  article  which  they  have  become  possessed  of  either  by  purchase 
or  gift  from  Japanese  subjects. 

Art.  IX. — In  case  a boat  despatched  by  a Japanese  surveying  vessel 
to  take  soundings  along  the  Korean  coasts,  as  provided  for  in  Article  VII. 


APPENDICES 


275 


of  the  Treaty  of  Amity  and  Friendship,  should  be  prevented  from 
returning  to  the  vessel,  on  account  either  of  bad  weather  or  the  ebb 
tide,  the  headman  of  the  locality  shall  accommodate  the  boat  party  in 
a suitable  house  in  the  neighbourhood.  Articles  required  by  them  for 
their  comfort  shall  be  furnished  to  them  by  the  local  authorities,  and 
the  outlay  thus  incurred  shall  afterwards  be  refunded  to  the  latter. 

Art.  X. — Although  no  relations  as  yet  exist  between  Korea  and 
foreign  countries,  yet  Japan  has  for  many  years  back  maintained 
friendly  relations  with  them  ; it  is  therefore  natural  that  in  case  a 
vessel  of  any  of  the  countries  of  which  Japan  thus  cultivates  the  friend- 
ship should  be  stranded  by  stress  of  weather  or  otherwise  on  the 
coasts  of  Korea,  those  on  board  shall  be  treated  with  kindness  by 
Korean  subjects,  and  should  such  persons  ask  to  be  sent  back  to  their 
homes  they  shall  be  delivered  over  by  the  Korean  Government  to  an 
Agent  of  the  Japanese  Government  residing  at  one  of  the  open  ports 
of  Korea,  requesting  him  to  send  them  back  to  their  native  countries, 
which  request  the  Agent  shall  never  fail  to  comply  with. 

Art.  XI. — The  foregoing  ten  Articles,  together  with  the  Regulations 
for  Trade  annexed  hereto,  shall  be  of  equal  effect  with  the  Treaty  of 
Amity  and  Friendship,  and  therefore  shall  be  faithfully  observed  by 
the  Governments  of  the  two  countries.  Should  it,  however,  be  found 
that  any  of  the  above  Articles  actually  cause  embarrassment  to  the 
commercial  intercourse  of  the  two  nations,  and  that  it  is  necessary  to 
modify  them,  then  either  Government,  submitting  its  proposition  to 
the  other,  shall  negotiate  the  modification  of  such  Articles  on  giving 
one  year’s  previous  notice  of  their  intention. 

Signed  and  sealed  this  twenty-fourth  day  of  the  eighth  month  of  the 
ninth  year  Meiji,  and  two  thousand  five  hundred  and  thirty-sixth 
since  the  accession  of  H.M.  Jimmu  Tenno  ; and  of  the  Korean  era, 
the  sixth  day  of  the  seventh  month  of  the  year  Heishi,  and  the  found- 
ing of  Korea  the  four  hundred  and  eighty-fifth. 

{Signed)  Miyamoto  Okadzu, 

Commissioner  and  Dajio  of  the 
Foreign  Departtnent. 

Cho  Inki, 

K'osho  Kwan,  Gisheifudosho. 


THE  AMERICAN-KOREAN  TREATY 


Signed  at  Gensan,  May  22,  1882. 

[Ratifications  exchanged  at  Hanyang , May  19,  1883.] 

Art.  I. — There  shall  be  perpetual  peace  and  friendship  between  the 
President  of  the  United  States  and  the  King  of  Chosen  and  the  citizens 
and  subjects  of  their  respective  Governments.  If  other  Powers  deal 
unjustly  or  oppressively  with  either  Government  the  other  will  exert 
their  good  offices,  on  being  informed  of  the  case,  to  bring  about  an 
amicable  arrangement,  thus  showing  their  friendly  feelings. 

Art.  II. — After  the  conclusion  of  this  Treaty  of  amity  and  com- 
merce the  high  contracting  Powers  may  each  appoint  diplomatic  repre- 
sentatives to  reside  at  the  Court  of  the  other,  and  may  each  appoint 
Consular  representatives  at  the  ports  of  the  other  which  are  open  to 
foreign  commerce,  at  their  own  convenience. 

The  officials  shall  have  relations  with  the  corresponding  local 
authorities  of  equal  rank  upon  a basis  of  mutual  equality.  The 
Diplomatic  and  Consular  representatives  of  the  two  Governments 
shall  receive  mutually  all  the  privileges,  rights,  and  immunities, 
without  discrimination,  which  are  accorded  to  the  same  classes  of 
representatives  from  the  most  favoured  nations. 

Consuls  shall  exercise  their  functions  only  on  receipt  of  an  exe- 
quatur from  the  Government  to  which  they  are  accredited.  Consular 
authorities  shall  be  bona-fide  officials.  No  merchants  shall  be  per- 
mitted to  exercise  the  duties  of  the  office,  nor  shall  Consular  officers 
be  allowed  to  engage  in  trade. 

At  ports  to  which  no  Consular  representatives  have  been  appointed 
the  Consuls  of  other  Powers  may  be  invited  to  act,  provided  that  no 
merchant  shall  be  allowed  to  assume  Consular  functions,  or  the  pro- 
visions of  this  Treaty  may  be,  in  such  case,  enforced  by  the  local 
authorities. 

If  Consular  representatives  of  the  United  States  in  Chosen  conduct 
their  business  in  an  improper  manner  their  exequaturs  may  be  re- 

276 


APPENDICES 


2 77 


voked,  subject  to  the  approval  previously  obtained  of  the  Diplomatic 
representative  of  the  United  States. 

Art.  III. — Whenever  United  States  vessels,  either  because  of 
weather  or  by  want  of  fuel  or  provisions,  cannot  reach  the  nearest 
open  port  in  Chosen,  they  may  enter  any  port  or  harbour  either  to 
take  refuge  therein  or  to  get  wood,  coal,  and  other  necessaries  or  to 
make  repairs ; the  expenses  incurred  thereby  being  defrayed  by  the 
ship’s  master.  In  such  event  the  officers  and  people  of  the  locality 
shall  display  their  sympathy  by  rendering  full  assistance,  and  their 
liberality  by  furnishing  the  necessities  required. 

If  a United  States  vessel  carries  on  a clandestine  trade  at  a port  not 
open  to  foreign  commerce,  such  vessel  with  her  cargo  shall  be  seized 
and  confiscated. 

If  a United  States  vessel  be  wrecked  on  the  coast  of  Chosen  the  coast 
authorities,  on  being  informed  of  the  occurrence,  shall  immediately 
render  assistance  to  the  crew,  provide  for  their  present  necessities, 
and  take  the  measures  necessary  for  the  salvage  of  the  ship  and  the 
preservation  of  the  cargo.  They  shall  also  bring  the  matter  to  the 
knowledge  of  the  nearest  Consular  representative  of  the  United 
States,  in  order  that  steps  may  be  taken  to  send  the  crew  home  and 
save  the  ship  and  cargo.  The  necessary  expenses  shall  be  defrayed 
either  by  the  ship’s  master  or  by  the  United  States. 

Art.  IV. — All  citizens  of  the  United  States  of  America  in  Chosen, 
peaceably  attending  to  their  own  affairs,  shall  receive  and  enjoy  for 
themselves  and  everybody  appertaining  to  them  the  protection  of  the 
local  authorities  of  the  Government  of  Chosen,  who  shall  defend  them 
from  all  insult  and  injury  of  any  sort.  If  their  dwellings  or  property  be 
threatened  or  attacked  by  mobs,  incendiaries,  or  other  violent  or  law- 
less persons,  the  local  officers,  on  requisition  of  the  Consul,  shall 
immediately  dispatch  a military  force  to  disperse  the  rioters,  appre- 
hend the  guilty  individuals,  and  punish  them  with  the  utmost  rigour 
of  the  law. 

Subjects  of  Chosen  guilty  of  any  criminal  act  towards  citizens  of  the 
United  States  shall  be  punished  by  the  authorities  of  Chosen  accord- 
ing to  the  laws  of  Chosen ; and  citizens  of  the  United  States,  either  on 
shore  or  in  any  merchant  vessel,  who  may  insult,  trouble,  or  wound 
the  persons  or  injure  the  property  of  the  people  of  Chosen  shall  be 
arrested  and  punished  only  by  the  Consul  or  other  public  functionary 
of  the  United  States  thereto  authorised,  according  to  the  laws  of  the 
United  States. 

When  controversies  arise  in  the  kingdom  of  Chosen  between  citizens 
of  the  United  States  and  subjects  of  His  Majesty,  which  need  to  be 
examined  and  decided  by  the  public  officers  of  the  two  nations,  it  is 


278 


APPENDICES 


agreed  between  the  two  Governments  of  the  United  States  and  Chosen 
that  such  case  shall  be  tried  by  the  proper  official  of  the  nationality  of 
the  defendant  according  to  the  law  of  that  nation.  The  properly 
authorised  official  of  the  plaintiffs  nationality  shall  be  freely  permitted 
to  attend  the  trial  and  shall  be  treated  with  the  courtesy  due  to  his 
position.  He  shall  be  granted  all  proper  facilities  for  watching  the 
proceedings  in  the  interests  of  justice.  If  he  so  desire  he  shall  have  the 
right  to  be  present,  to  examine  and  cross-examine  witnesses.  If  he  is 
dissatisfied  with  the  proceedings  he  shall  be  permitted  to  protest  against 
them  in  detail. 

It  is,  however,  mutually  agreed  and  understood  between  the  high 
contracting  Powers  that  whenever  the  King  of  Chosen  shall  have  so 
far  modified  and  reformed  the  statutes  and  the  judicial  procedure  of  his 
kingdom  that,  in  the  judgment  of  the  United  States,  they  conform  to 
the  laws  and  course  of  justice  in  the  United  States,  the  right  of  exterri- 
torial jurisdiction  over  United  States  citizens  in  Chosen  shall  be  aban- 
doned, and  thereafter  United  States  citizens,  when  within  the  limits  of 
the  kingdom  of  Chosen,  shall  be  subject  to  the  jurisdiction  of  the  native 
authorities. 

Art.  V. — Merchants  and  merchant  vessels  of  Chosen  visiting  the 
United  States  for  the  purpose  of  traffic  shall  pay  duties  and  tonnage 
dues  and  fees  according  to  the  Customs  regulations  of  the  United  States, 
but  no  higher  or  other  rates  of  duties  and  tonnage  dues  shall  be  exacted 
of  them  than  are  levied  upon  citizens  of  the  United  States  or  upon 
citizens  or  subjects  of  the  most  favoured  nation. 

Merchants  and  merchant  vessels  of  the  United  States  visiting  Chosen 
for  purposes  of  traffic  shall  pay  duties  upon  all  merchandise  imported 
and  exported.  The  authority  to  levy  duties  is  of  right  vested  in  the 
Government  of  Chosen.  The  tariff  of  duties  upon  exports  and  imports, 
together  with  the  Customs  regulations  for  the  prevention  of  smuggling 
and  other  irregularities,  will  be  fixed  by  the  authorities  of  Chosen  and 
communicated  to  the  proper  officials  of  the  United  States,  to  be  by  the 
latter  notified  to  their  citizens  and  duly  observed. 

It  is,  however,  agreed  in  the  first  instance,  as  a general  measure,  that 
the  tariff  upon  such  imports  as  are  articles  of  daily  use  shall  not  exceed 
an  ad  valoretn  duty  of  10  per  cent. ; that  the  tariff  upon  such  im- 
ports as  are  luxuries — as,  for  instance,  foreign  wines,  foreign  tobacco, 
clocks  and  watches — shall  not  exceed  an  ad  valorem  duty  of  30  per 
cent.,  and  that  native  produce  exported  shall  pay  a duty  not  to  exceed 
5 per  cent,  ad  valorem.  And  it  is  further  agreed  that  the  duty  upon 
foreign  imports  shall  be  paid  once  for  all  at  the  port  of  entry,  and  that 
no  other  dues,  duties,  fees,  taxes,  or  charges  of  any  sort  shall  be  levied 
upon  such  imports  either  in  the  interior  of  Chosen  or  at  the  ports. 


APPENDICES 


279 


United  States  merchant  vessels  entering  the  ports  of  Chosen  shall 
pay  tonnage  dues  at  the  rate  of  five  mace  per  ton,  payable  once  in  three 
months  on  each  vessel,  according  to  the  Chinese  calendar. 

Art.  VI. — Subjects  of  Chosen  who  may  visit  the  United  States 
shall  be  permitted  to  reside  and  to  rent  premises,  purchase  land,  or  to 
construct  residences  or  warehouses  in  all  parts  of  the  country.  They 
shall  be  freely  permitted  to  pursue  their  various  callings  and  avocation, 
and  to  traffic  in  all  merchandise,  raw  and  manufactured,  that  is  not 
declared  contraband  by  law.  Citizens  of  the  United  States  who  may 
resort  to  the  ports  of  Chosen  which  are  open  to  foreign  commerce, 
shall  be  permitted  to  reside  at  such  open  ports  within  the  limits  of  the 
concession  and  to  lease  buildings  or  land,  or  to  construct  residences  or 
warehouses  therein.  They  shall  be  freely  permitted  to  pursue  their 
various  callings  and  avocations  within  the  limits  of  the  ports  and  to 
traffic  in  all  merchandise,  raw  and  manufactured,  that  is  not  declared 
contraband  by  law. 

No  coercion  or  intimidation  in  the  acquisition  of  land  or  buildings 
shall  be  permitted,  and  the  land  rent  as  fixed  by  the  authorities  of 
Chosen  shall  be  paid.  And  it  is  expressly  agreed  that  land  so 
acquired  in  the  open  ports  of  Chosen  still  remains  an  integral  part  of 
the  kingdom,  and  that  all  rights  of  jurisdiction  over  persons  and 
property  within  such  areas  remain  vested  in  the  authorities  of  Chosen, 
except  in  so  far  as  such  rights  have  been  expressly  relinquished  by  this 
Treaty. 

American  citizens  are  not  permitted  either  to  transport  foreign 
imports  to  the  interior  for  sale,  or  to  proceed  thither  to  purchase  native 
produce,  nor  are  they  permitted  to  transport  native  produce  from  one 
open  port  to  another  open  port. 

Violation  of  this  rule  will  subject  such  merchandise  to  confiscation, 
and  the  merchants  offending  will  be  handed  over  to  the  Consular 
authorities  to  be  dealt  with. 

Art.  VII. — The  Governments  of  the  United  States  and  of  Chosen 
mutually  agree  and  undertake  that  subjects  of  Chosen  shall  not  be  per- 
mitted to  import  opium  into  any  of  the  ports  of  the  Unitfed  States,  and 
citizens  of  the  United  States  shall  not  be  permitted  to  import  opium  into 
any  of  the  open  ports  of  Chosen,  to  transport  it  from  one  open  port  to 
another  open  port,  or  traffic  in  it  in  Chosen.  This  absolute  prohibition 
which  extends  to  vessels  owned  by  the  citizens  or  subjects  of  either 
Power,  to  foreign  vessels  employed  by  them,  and  to  vessels  owned  by 
the  citizens  or  subjects  of  either  Power  and  employed  by  other  persons 
for  the  transportation  of  opium,  shall  be  enforced  by  appropriate 
legislation  on  the  part  of  the  United  States  and  of  Chosen,  and 
offenders  against  it  shall  be  severely  punished. 


28o 


APPENDICES 


Art.  VII. — Whenever  the  Government  of  Chosen  shall  have  reason 
to  apprehend  a scarcity  of  food  within  the  limits  of  the  kingdom,  His 
Majesty  may  by  decree  temporarily  prohibit  the  export  of  all  bread- 
stuffs,  and  such  decree  shall  be  binding  upon  all  citizens  of  the  United 
States  in  Chosen  upon  due  notice  having  been  given  them  by  the 
authorities  of  Chosen  through  the  proper  officers  of  the  United  States; 
but  it  is  to  be  understood  that  the  exportation  of  rice  and  breadstuff's 
of  every  description  is  prohibited  from  the  open  port  of  Yin-Chuen. 

Chosen  having  of  old  prohibited  the  exportation  of  red  ginseng,  if 
citizens  of  the  United  States  clandestinely  purchase  it  for  export  it  shall 
be  confiscated  and  the  offenders  punished. 

Art.  IX. — Purchase  of  cannon,  small  arms,  swords,  gunpowder, 
shot,  and  all  munitions  of  war  is  permitted  only  to  officials  of  the 
Government  of  Chosen,  and  they  may  be  imported  by  citizens  of  the 
United  States  only  under  written  permit  from  the  authorities  of  Chosen. 
If  these  articles  are  clandestinely  imported  they  shall  be  confiscated, 
and  the  offending  party  shall  be  punished. 

Art.  X. — The  officers  and  people  of  either  nation  residing  in 
the  other  shall  have  the  right  to  employ  natives  for  all  kinds  of 
lawful  work. 

Should,  however,  subjects  of  Chosen,  guilty  of  violation  of  the  laws 
of  the  kingdom,  or  against  whom  any  action  has  been  brought,  conceal 
themselves  in  the  residences  or  warehouses  of  United  States  citizens  or 
on  board  United  States  merchant  vessels  the  Consular  authorities  of 
the  United  States,  on  being  notified  of  the  fact  by  the  local  authorities, 
will  either  permit  the  latter  to  despatch  constables  to  make  the  arrests, 
or  the  persons  will  be  arrested  by  the  Consular  authorities  and  handed 
over  to  the  local  constables. 

Officials  or  citizens  of  the  United  States  shall  not  harbour  such 
persons. 

Art.  XI. — Students  of  either  nationality  who  may  proceed  to  the 
country  of  the  other  in  order  to  study  the  language,  literature,  law, 
or  arts,  shall  be  given  all  possible  protection  and  assistance,  in 
evidence  of  cordial  goodwill. 

Art.  XII. — This  being  the  first  Treaty  negotiated  by  Chosen,  and 
hence  being  general  and  incomplete  in  its  provision,  shall,  in  the  first 
instance,  be  put  into  operation  in  all  things  stipulated  therein.  As  to 
stipulations  not  contained  herein,  after  an  interval  of  five  years,  when 
the  officers  and  people  of  the  two  Powers  shall  have  become  more 
familiar  with  each  other’s  language,  a further  negotiation  of  com- 
mercial provisions  and  regulations  in  detail,  in  conformity  with  inter- 
national law  and  without  unequal  discriminations  on  either  part,  shall 
be  had. 


APPENDICES 


281 


Art.  XIII. — This  Treaty  and  future  official  correspondence  between 
the  two  contracting  Governments  shall  be  made  on  the  part  of  Chosen 
in  the  Chinese  language. 

The  United  States  shall  either  use  the  Chinese  language,  or  if 
English  be  used  it  shall  be  accompanied  with  a Chinese  version  in 
order  to  avoid  misunderstanding. 

Art.  XIV. — The  high  contracting  Powers  hereby  agree  that  should 
at  any  time  the  King  of  Chosen  grant  to  any  nation  or  to  the  merchants 
or  citizens  of  any  nation,  any  right,  privilege,  or  favour  connected 
either  with  navigation,  commerce,  political  or  other  intercourse,  which 
is  not  conferred  by  this  Treaty,  such  right,  privilege,  and  favour  shall 
freely  enure  to  the  benefit  of  the  United  States,  its  public  officers, 
merchants,  and  citizens  ; provided  always,  that  whenever  such  right, 
privilege,  or  favour  is  accompanied  by  any  condition  or  equivalent 
concession  granted  by  the  other  nation  interested,  the  United  States, 
its  officers  and  people,  shall  only  be  entitled  to  the  benefit  of  such 
right,  privilege,  or  favour  upon  complying  with  the  conditions  or 
concessions  connected  therewith. 

In  faith  whereof  the  respective  Commissioners  Plenipotentiary  have 
signed  and  sealed  the  foregoing  at  Yin-Chuen,  in  English  and  Chinese, 
being  three  originals  of  each  text  of  even  tenor  and  date,  the  ratifica- 
tions of  which  shall  be  exchanged  at  Yin-Chuen  within  one  year  from 
the  date  of  its  execution,  and  immediately  hereafter  this  Treaty  shall  be, 
in  all  its  provisions,  publicly  proclaimed  and  made  known  by  both 
Governments  in  their  respective  countries  in  order  that  it  may  be 
obeyed  by  their  citizens  and  subjects  respectively. 

R.  W.  Shufeldt, 

Commodore  United  States  Navy , Envoy  of  the 
United  States  to  Chosen. 

Shin  Chen, 

Chin  IIong  Chi, 

Members  of  the  Royal  Cabinet  of  Chosen. 


BRITISH-KOREAN  TREATY 
Signed  at  Hanyang,  November  26,  1883. 

[. Ratifications  exchanged  at  Hanyang,  April  28,  1884.] 

Her  Majesty  the  Queen  of  the  United  Kingdom  of  Great  Britain 
and  Ireland,  Empress  of  India,  and  His  Majesty  the  King  of  Korea, 
being  sincerely  desirous  of  establishing  permanent  relations  of 
friendship  and  commerce  between  their  respective  dominions,  have 
resolved  to  conclude  a Treaty  for  that  purpose,  and  have  therefore 
named  as  their  Plenipotentiaries,  that  is  to  say : 

Her  Majesty  the  Queen  of  the  United  Kingdom  of  Great  Britain 
and  Ireland,  Empress  of  India,  Sir  Harry  Smith  Parkes,  Knight 
Grand  Cross  of  the  Most  Distinguished  Order  of  Saint  Michael  and 
Saint  George,  Knight  Commander  of  the  Most  Honourable  Order  of 
the  Bath,  Her  Majesty’s  Envoy  Extraordinary  and  Minister  Pleni- 
potentiary to  His  Majesty  the  Emperor  of  China  ; 

His  Majesty  the  King  of  Korea,  Min  Yong-Mok,  President  of  His 
Majesty’s  Foreign  Office,  a Dignitary  of  the  First  Rank,  Senior  Vice- 
President  of  the  Council  of  State,  Member  of  His  Majesty’s  Privy 
Council,  and  Junior  Guardian  of  the  Crown  Prince; 

Who,  after  having  communicated  to  each  other  their  respective  full 
powers,  found  in  good  and  due  form,  have  agreed  upon  and  concluded 
the  following  Articles  : — 


Art.  I. 

1.  There  shall  be  perpetual  peace  and  friendship  between  Her 
Majesty  the  Queen  of  the  United  Kingdom  and  Ireland,  Empress 
of  India,  her  heirs  and  successors,  and  His  Majesty  the  King  of  Korea, 
his  heirs  and  successors,  and  between  tbeir  respective  dominions  and 
subjects,  who  shall  enjoy  full  security  and  protection  for  their  persons 
and  property  within  the  dominions  of  the  other. 

2.  In  case  of  differences  arising  between  one  of  the  High  Contracting 
Parties  and  a third  Power,  the  other  High  Contracting  Party,  if 

282 


APPENDICES  283 

requested  to  do  so,  shall  exert  its  good  offices  to  bring  about  an 
amicable  arrangement. 

Art.  II. 

1.  The  High  Contracting  Parties  may  each  appoint  a Diplomatic 
Representative  to  reside  permanently  or  temporarily  at  the  capital 
of  the  other,  and  may  appoint  a Consul-General,  Consuls,  or  Vice- 
Consuls,  to  reside  at  any  or  all  of  the  ports  or  places  of  the  other 
which  are  open  to  foreign  commerce.  The  Diplomatic  Representatives 
and  Consular  functionaries  of  both  countries  shall  freely  enjoy  the 
same  facilities  for  communication,  personally  or  in  writing,  with  the 
authorities  of  the  country  where  they  respectively  reside,  together  with 
all  other  privileges  and  immunities  as  are  enjoyed  by  Diplomatic  or 
Consular  functionaries  in  other  countries. 

2.  The  Diplomatic  Representative  and  the  Consular  functionaries 
of  each  Power  and  the  members  of  their  official  establishments  shall 
have  the  right  to  travel  freely  in  any  part  of  the  dominions  of  the 
other,  and  the  Korean  authorities  shall  furnish  passports  to  such  British 
officers  travelling  in  Korea,  and  shall  provide  such  escort  for  their 
protection  as  may  be  necessary. 

3.  The  Consular  officers  of  both  countries  shall  exercise  their 
functions  on  receipt  of  due  authorisation  from  the  Sovereign  or 
Government  of  the  country  in  which  they  respectively  reside,  and 
shall  not  be  permitted  to  engage  in  trade. 

Art.  III. 

1.  Jurisdiction  over  the  persons  and  property  of  British  subjects  in 
Korea  shall  be  vested  exclusively  in  the  duly  authorised  British 
judicial  authorities,  who  shall  hear  and  determine  all  cases  brought 
against  British  subjects  by  any  British  or  other  foreign  subject  or 
citizen  without  the  intervention  of  the  Korean  authorities. 

2.  If  the  Korean  authorities  or  a Korean  subject  make  any  charge 
or  complaint  against  a British  subject  in  Korea,  the  case  shall  be  heard 
and  decided  by  the  British  judicial  authorities. 

3.  If  the  British  authorities  or  a British  subject  make  any  charge 
or  complaint  against  a Korean  subject  in  Korea,  the  case  shall  be 
heard  and  decided  by  the  Korean  authorities. 

4.  A British  subject  who  commits  any  offence  in  Korea  shall  be 
tried  and  punished  by  the  British  judicial  authorities  according  to 
the  laws  of  Great  Britain. 

5.  A Korean  subject  who  commits  in  Korea  any  offence  against  a 
British  subject  shall  be  tried  and  punished  by  the  Korean  authorities 
according  to  the  laws  of  Korea. 


284 


APPENDICES 


6.  Any  complaint  against  a British  subject  involving  a penalty  or 
confiscation  by  reason  of  any  breach  either  of  this  Treaty  or  of  any 
regulation  annexed  thereto,  or  of  any  regulation  that  may  hereafter 
be  made  in  virtue  of  its  provisions,  shall  be  brought  before  the  British 
judicial  authorities  for  decision,  and  any  penalty  imposed,  and  all 
property  confiscated  in  such  cases  shall  belong  to  the  Korean 
Government. 

7.  British  goods,  when  seized  by  the  Korean  authorities  at  an  open 
port,  shall  be  put  under  the  seals  of  the  Korean  and  the  British 
Consular  authorities,  and  shall  be  detained  by  the  former  until  the 
British  judicial  authorities  shall  have  given  their  decision.  If  this 
decision  is  in  favour  of  the  owner  of  the  goods,  they  shall  be 
immediately  placed  at  the  Consul’s  disposal.  But  the  owner  shall  be 
allowed  to  receive  them  at  once  on  depositing  their  value  with  the 
Korean  authorities  pending  the  decision  of  the  British  judicial 
authorities. 

8.  In  all  cases,  whether  civil  or  criminal,  tried  either  in  Korean 
or  British  Courts  in  Korea,  a properly  authorised  official  of  the 
nationality  of  the  plaintiff  or  prosecutor  shall  be  allowed  to  attend 
the  hearing,  and  shall  be  treated  with  the  courtesy  due  to  his  position. 
He  shall  be  allowed,  whenever  he  thinks  it  necessary,  to  call,  examine, 
and  cross-examine  witnesses,  and  to  protest  against  the  proceedings 
or  decision. 

9.  If  a Korean  subject  who  is  charged  with  an  offence  against  the 
laws  of  his  country  takes  refuge  on  premises  occupied  by  a British 
subject,  or  on  board  a British  merchant-vessel,  the  British  Consular 
authorities,  on  receiving  an  application  from  the  Korean  authorities, 
shall  take  steps  to  have  such  person  arrested  and  handed  over  to 
the  latter  for  trial.  But,  without  the  consent  of  the  proper  British 
Consular  authority,  no  Korean  officer  shall  enter  the  premises  of 
any  British  subject  without  his  consent,  or  go  on  board  any  British 
ship  without  the  consent  of  the  officer  in  charge. 

10.  On  the  demand  of  any  competent  British  Consular  authority, 
the  Korean  authorities  shall  arrest  and  deliver  to  the  former  any 
British  subject  charged  with  a criminal  offence,  and  any  deserter  from 
a British  ship  of  war  or  merchant-vessel. 

Art.  IV. 

1.  The  ports  of  Chemulpho  (Jeuchuan),  Wonsan  (Gensan),  and  Pusan 
(Fusan),  or,  if  the  latter  port  should  not  be  approved,  then  such  other 
port  as  may  be  selected  in  its  neighbourhood,  together  with  the  city 
of  Hanyang  and  of  the  town  of  Yanghwa  Chin,  or  such  other  place  in 


APPENDICES 


285 


that  neighbourhood,  as  may  be  deemed  desirable,  shall,  from  the 
day  on  which  this  Treaty  comes  into  operation,  be  opened  to  British 
com^..ce. 

2.  At  the  above-named  places  British  subjects  shall  have  the  right  to 
rent  or  to  purchase  land  or  houses,  and  to  erect  dwellings,  warehouses, 
and  factories.  They  shall  be  allowed  the  free  exercise  of  their  religion. 
All  arrangements  for  the  selection,  determination  of  the  limits,  and 
laying  out  of  the  sites  of  the  foreign  Settlements,  and  for  the  sale  of 
land  at  the  various  ports  and  places  in  Korea  open  to  foreign  trade, 
shall  be  made  by  the  Korean  authorities  in  conjunction  with  the  com- 
petent foreign  authorities. 

3.  These  sites  shall  be  purchased  from  the  owners  and  prepared  for 
occupation  by  the  Korean  Government,  and  the  expense  thus  incurred 
shall  be  a first  charge  on  the  proceeds  of  the  sale  of  the  land.  The 
yearly  rental  agreed  upon  by  the  Korean  authorities  in  conjunction  with 
the  foreign  authorities  shall  be  paid  to  the  former,  who  shall  retain  a 
fixed  amount  thereof  as  a fair  equivalent  for  the  land  tax,  and  the 
remainder,  together  with  any  balance  left  from  the  proceeds  of  land 
sales,  shall  belong  to  a municipal  fund  to  be  administered  by  a Council, 
the  constitution  of  which  shall  be  determined  hereafter  by  the  Korean 
authorities  in  conjunction  with  the  competent  foreign  authorities. 

4.  British  subjects  may  rent  or  purchase  land  or  houses  beyond  the 
limits  of  the  foreign  settlements,  and  within  a distance  of  10  Korean  li 
from  the  same.  But  all  land  so  occupied  shall  be  subject  to  such  con- 
ditions as  to  the  observance  of  Korean  local  regulations  and  payment 
of  land  tax  as  the  Korean  authorities  may  see  fit  to  impose. 

5.  The  Korean  authorities  will  set  apart,  free  of  cost,  at  each  of  the 
places  open  to  trade,  a suitable  piece  of  ground  as  a foreign  cemetery, 
upon  which  no  rent,  land  tax,  or  other  charges  shall  be  payable,  and 
the  management  of  which  shall  be  left  to  the  Municipal  Council  above 
mentioned. 

6.  British  subjects  shall  be  allowed  to  go  where  they  please  without 
passports  within  a distance  of  100  Korean  li  from  any  of  the  ports  and 
places  open  to  trade,  or  within  such  limits  as  may  be  agreed  upon 
between  the  competent  authorities  of  both  countries.  British  subjects 
are  also  authorised  to  travel  in  Korea  for  pleasure  or  for  purposes  of 
trade,  to  transport  and  sell  goods  of  all  kinds,  except  books  and  other 
printed  matter  disapproved  of  by  the  Korean  Government,  and  to 
purchase  native  produce  in  all  parts  of  the  country  under  passports 
which  will  be  issued  by  their  Consuls  and  countersigned  or  sealed  by 
the  Korean  local  authorities.  These  passports,  if  demanded,  must  be 
produced  for  examination  in  the  districts  passed  through.  If  the  pass- 
port be  not  irregular,  the  bearer  will  be  allowed  to  proceed,  and  he 


286 


APPENDICES 


shall  be  at  liberty  to  procure  such  means  of  transport  as  he  may  require. 
Any  British  subject  travelling  beyond  the  limits  above  named  without  a 
passport,  or  committing  when  in  the  interior  any  offence,  shall  be 
arrested  and  handed  over  to  the  nearest  British  Consul  for  punishment. 
Travelling  without  a passport  beyond  the  said  limits  will  render  the 
offender  liable  to  a fine  not  exceeding  ioo  Mexican  dollars,  with  or 
without  imprisonment  for  a term  not  exceeding  one  month. 

7.  British  subjects  in  Korea  shall  be  amenable  to  such  municipal, 
police,  and  other  regulations  for  the  maintenance  of  peace,  order,  and 
good  government  as  may  be  agreed  upon  by  the  competent  authorities 
of  the  two  countries. 


Art.  V. 

1.  At  each  of  the  ports  or  places  open  to  foreign  trade,  British  subjects 
shall  be  at  full  liberty  to  import  from  any  foreign  port,  or  from  any 
Korean  open  port,  to  sell  to  or  to  buy  from  any  Korean  subjects  or 
others,  and  to  export  to  any  foreign  or  Korean  open  port,  all  kinds  of 
merchandise  not  prohibited  by  this  Treaty,  on  paying  the  duties  of  the 
Tariff  annexed  thereto.  They  may  freely  transact  their  business  with 
Korean  subjects  or  others  without  the  intervention  of  Korean  officials 
or  other  persons,  and  they  may  freely  engage  in  any  industrial 
occupation. 

2.  The  owners  or  consignees  of  all  goods  imported  from  any  foreign 
port  upon  which  the  duty  of  the  aforesaid  Tariff  shall  have  been  paid 
shall  be  entitled,  on  re-exporting  the  same  to  any  foreign  port  at  any 
time  within  thirteen  Korean  months  from  the  date  of  importation,  to 
receive  a drawback  certificate  for  the  amount  of  such  import  duty, 
provided  that  the  original  packages  containing  such  goods  remain 
intact.  These  drawback  certificates  shall  either  be  redeemed  by  the 
Korean  Customs  on  demand,  or  they  shall  be  received  in  payment  of 
duty  at  any  Korean  open  port. 

3.  The  duty  paid  on  Korean  goods,  when  carried  from  one  Korean  open 
port  to  another,  shall  be  refunded  at  the  port  of  shipment  on  production 
of  a Customs  certificate  showing  that  the  goods  have  arrived  at  the  port 
of  destination,  or  on  satisfactory  proof  being  produced  of  the  loss  of  the 
goods  by  shipwreck. 

4.  All  goods  imported  into  Korea  by  British  subjects,  and  on  which 
the  duty  of  the  Tariff  annexed  to  this  Treaty  shall  have  been  paid,  may 
be  conveyed  to  any  Korean  open  port  free  of  duty,  and,  when  trans- 
ported into  the  interior,  shall  not  be  subject  to  any  additional  tax, 
excise  or  transit  duty  whatsoever  in  any  part  of  the  country.  In  like 
manner,  full  freedom  shall  be  allowed  for  the  transport  to  the  open 
ports  of  all  Korean  commodities  intended  for  exportation,  and  such 


APPENDICES 


287 


commodities  shall  not,  either  at  the  place  of  production,  or  when  being 
conveyed  from  any  part  of  Korea  to  any  of  the  open  ports,  be  subject  to 
the  payment  of  any  tax,  excise  or  transit  duty  whatsoever. 

5.  The  Korean  Government  may  charter  British  merchant-vessels  for 
the  conveyance  of  goods  or  passengers  to  unopened  ports  in  Korea,  and 
Korean  subjects  shall  have  the  same  right,  subject  to  the  approval  of 
their  own  authorities. 

6.  Whenever  the  Government  of  Korea  shall  have  reason  to  apprehend 
a scarcity  of  food  within  the  kingdom,  His  Majesty  the  King  of  Korea 
may,  by  Decree,  temporarily  prohibit  the  export  of  grain  to  foreign 
countries  from  any  or  all  of  the  Korean  open  ports,  and  such  pro- 
hibition shall  become  binding  on  British  subjects  in  Korea  on  the 
expiration  of  one  month  from  the  date  on  which  it  shall  have  been 
officially  communicated  by  the  Korean  authorities  to  the  British  Consul 
at  the  port  concerned,  but  shall  not  remain  longer  in  force  than  is  abso- 
lutely necessary. 

7.  All  British  ships  shall  pay  tonnage  dues  at  the  rate  of  30  cents 
(Mexican)  per  register  ton.  One  such  payment  will  entitle  a vessel  to 
visit  any  or  all  of  the  open  ports  in  Korea  during  a period  of  four 
months  without  further  charge.  All  tonnage  dues  shall  be  appropriated 
for  the  purposes  of  erecting  lighthouses  and  beacons,  and  placing  buoys 
on  the  Korean  coast,  more  especially  at  the  approaches  to  the  open 
ports,  and  in  deepening  or  otherwise  improving  the  anchorages.  No 
tonnage  dues  shall  be  charged  on  boats  employed  at  the  open  ports  in 
landing  or  shipping  cargo. 

8.  In  order  to  carry  into  effect  and  secure  the  observance  of  the  pro- 
visions of  this  Treaty,  it  is  hereby  agreed  that  the  Tariff  and  Trade 
Regulations  hereto  annexed  shall  come  into  operation  simultaneously 
with  this  Treaty.  The  competent  authorities  of  the  two  countries  may, 
from  time  to  time,  revise  the  said  Regulations  with  a view  to  the 
insertion  therein,  by  mutual  consent,  of  such  modifications  or  additions 
as  experience  shall  prove  to  be  expedient. 

Art.  VI. 

Any  British  subject  who  smuggles,  or  attempts  to  smuggle,  goods 
into  any  Korean  port  or  place  not  open  to  foreign  trade  shall  forfeit 
twice  the  value  of  such  goods,  and  the  goods  shall  be  confiscated.  The 
Korean  local  authorities  may  seize  such  goods,  and  may  arrest  any 
British  subject  concerned  in  such  smuggling  or  attempt  to  smuggle. 
They  shall  immediately  forward  any  person  so  arrested  to  the  nearest 
British  Consul  for  trial  by  the  proper  British  judicial  authority,  and  may 
detain  such  goods  until  the  case  shall  have  been  finally  adjudicated. 


288 


APPENDICES 


Art.  VII. 

1 . If  a British  ship  be  wrecked  or  stranded  on  the  coast  of  Korea, 
the  local  authorities  shall  immediately  take  such  steps  to  protect  the 
ship  and  her  cargo  from  plunder,  and  all  the  persons  belonging  to  her 
from  ill-treatment,  and  to  render  such  other  assistance  as  may  be 
required.  They  shall  at  once  inform  the  nearest  British  Consul  of  the 
occurrence,  and  shall  furnish  the  shipwrecked  persons,  if  necessary, 
with  means  of  conveyance  to  the  nearest  open  port. 

2.  All  expenses  incurred  by  the  Government  of  Korea  for  the  rescue, 
clothing,  maintenance,  and  travelling  of  shipwrecked  British  subjects, 
for  the  recovery  of  the  bodies  of  the  drowned,  for  the  medical  treatment 
of  the  sick  and  injured,  and  for  the  burial  of  the  dead,  shall  be  repaid 
by  the  British  Government  to  that  of  Korea. 

3.  The  British  Government  shall  not  be  responsible  for  the  repay- 
ment of  the  expenses  incurred  in  the  recovery  or  preservation  of  a 
wrecked  vessel,  or  the  property  belonging  to  her.  All  such  expenses 
shall  be  a charge  upon  the  property  saved,  and  shall  be  paid  by  the 
parties  interested  therein  upon  receiving  delivery  of  the  same. 

4.  No  charge  shall  be  made  by  the  Government  of  Korea  for  the 
expenses  of  the  Government  officers,  local  functionaries,  or  police  who 
shall  proceed  to  the  wreck,  for  the  travelling  expenses  of  officers 
escorting  the  shipwrecked  men,  nor  for  the  expenses  of  official 
correspondence.  Such  expenses  shall  be  borne  by  the  Korean 
Government. 

5.  Any  British  merchant-ship  compelled  by  stress  of  weather  or  by 
want  of  fuel  or  provisions  to  enter  an  unopened  port  in  Korea  shall  be 
allowed  to  execute  repairs,  and  to  obtain  necessary  supplies.  All  such 
expenses  shall  be  defrayed  by  the  master  of  the  vessel. 

Art.  VIII. 

1.  The  ships  of  war  of  each  country  shall  be  at  liberty  to  visit  all  the 
ports  of  the  other.  They  shall  enjoy  every  facility  for  procuring  supplies 
of  all  kinds,  or  for  making  repairs,  and  shall  not  be  subject  to  trade  or 
harbour  regulations,  nor  be  liable  to  the  payment  of  duties  or  port 
charges  of  any  kind. 

2.  When  British  ships  of  war  visit  unopened  ports  in  Korea,  the 
officers  and  men  may  land,  but  shall  not  proceed  into  the  interior  unless 
they  are  provided  with  passports. 

3.  Supplies  of  all  kinds  for  the  use  of  the  British  Navy  may  be  landed 
at  the  open  ports  of  Korea,  and  stored  in  the  custody  of  a British 
officer,  without  the  payment  of  any  duty.  But  if  any  such  supplies  are 
sold,  the  purchaser  shall  pay  the  proper  duty  to  the  Korean  authorities. 


APPENDICES 


289 


4.  The  Korean  Government  will  afford  all  the  facilities  in  their 
power  to  ships  belonging  to  the  British  Government  which  may  be 
engaged  in  making  surveys  in  Korean  waters. 

Art.  IX. 

1.  The  British  authorities  and  British  subjects  in  Korea  shall  be 
allowed  to  employ  Korean  subjects  as  teachers,  interpreters,  servants, 
or  in  any  other  lawful  capacity,  without  any  restriction  on  the  part  of 
the  Korean  authorities  ; and,  in  like  manner,  no  restrictions  shall  be 
placed  upon  the  employment  of  British  subjects  by  Korean  authorities 
and  subjects  in  any  lawful  capacity. 

2.  Subjects  of  either  nationality  who  may  proceed  to  the  country  of 
the  other  to  study  its  language,  literature,  laws,  arts,  or  industries,  or 
for  the  purpose  of  scientific  research,  shall  be  afforded  every  reasonable 
facility  for  doing  so. 

Art.  X. 

It  is  hereby  stipulated  that  the  Government,  public  officers,  and 
subjects  of  Her  Britannic  Majesty  shall,  from  the  day  on  which  this 
Treaty  comes  into  operation,  participate  in  all  privileges,  immunities, 
and  advantages,  especially  in  relation  to  import  or  export  duties  on 
goods  and  manufactures,  which  shall  then  have  been  granted  or  may 
thereafter  be  granted  by  His  Majesty  the  King  of  Korea  to  the 
Government,  public  officers,  or  subjects  of  any  other  Power. 

Art.  XI. 

Ten  years  from  the  date  on  which  this  Treaty  shall  come  into 
operation,  either  of  the  High  Contracting  Parties  may,  on  giving  one 
year’s  previous  notice  to  the  other,  demand  a revision  of  the  Treaty  or 
of  the  Tariff  annexed  thereto,  with  a view  to  the  insertion  therein,  by 
mutual  consent,  of  such  modifications  as  experience  shall  prove  to  be 
desirable. 

Art.  XII. 

1.  This  Treaty  is  drawn  up  in  the  English  and  Chinese  languages, 
both  of  which  versions  have  the  same  meaning,  but  it  is  hereby  agreed 
that  any  difference  which  may  arise  as  to  interpretation  shall  be 
determined  by  reference  to  the  English  text. 

2.  For  the  present  all  official  communications  addressed  by  the 
British  authorities  to  those  of  Korea  shall  be  accompanied  by  a 
translation  into  Chinese. 


20 


290 


APPENDICES 


Art.  XIII. 

The  present  Treaty  shall  be  ratified  by  Her  Majesty  the  Queen  of  the 
United  Kingdom  of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland,  Empress  of  India, 
and  by  His  Majesty  the  King  of  Korea,  under  their  hands  and  seals  ; 
the  ratifications  shall  be  exchanged  at  Hanyang  (Seoul)  as  soon  as 
possible,  or  at  latest  within  one  year  from  the  date  of  signature, 
and  the  Treaty,  which  shall  be  published  by  both  Governments,  shall 
come  into  operation  on  the  day  on  which  the  ratifications  are  exchanged. 

In  witness  whereof  the  respective  Plenipotentiaries  above  named 
have  signed  the  present  Treaty,  and  have  thereto  affixed  their  seals. 

Done  in  triplicate  at  Hanyang,  this  twenty-sixth  day  of  November, 
in  the  year  eighteen  hundred  and  eighty-three,  corresponding  to  the 
twenty-seventh  day  of  the  tenth  month  of  the  four  hundred  and  ninety- 
second  year  of  the  Korean  era,  being  the  ninth  year  of  the  Chinese 
reign  Kuang  Hsu. 

(L.S.)  Harry  S.  Parkes. 

(L.S.)  Signature  in  Chinese  of  Min  Yong-Mok, 

the  Korean  Plenipotentiary. 


Regulations  under  which  British  Trade  is  to  be  conducted 
in  Korea. 

I. — Entrance  and  Clearance  of  Vessels. 

1.  Within  forty-eight  hours  (exclusive  of  Sundays  and  holidays)  after 
the  arrival  of  a British  ship  in  a Korean  port,  the  master  shall  deliver 
to  the  Korean  Customs  authorities  the  receipt  of  the  British  Consul 
showing  that  he  has  deposited  the  ship’s  papers  at  the  British  Con- 
sulate, and  he  shall  then  make  an  entry  of  his  ship  by  handing  in  a 
written  paper  stating  the  name  of  the  ship,  of  the  port  from  which  she 
comes,  of  her  master,  the  number,  and,  if  required,  the  names  of  her 
passengers,  her  tonnage,  and  the  number  of  her  crew,  which  paper 
shall  be  certified  by  the  master  to  be  a true  statement,  and  shall  be 
signed  by  him.  He  shall,  at  the  same  time,  deposit  a written  manifest 
of  his  cargo,  setting  forth  the  marks  and  numbers  of  the  packages  and 
their  contents  as  they  are  described  in  the  bills  of  lading,  with  the 
names  of  the  persons  to  whom  they  are  consigned.  The  master  shall 
certify  that  this  description  is  correct,  and  shall  sign  his  name  to  the 
same.  When  a vessel  has  been  duly  entered,  the  Customs  authorities 
will  issue  a permit  to  open  hatches,  which  shall  be  exhibited  to  the 
Customs  officer  on  board.  Breaking  bulk  without  having  obtained 


APPENDICES 


291 


such  permission  will  render  the  master  liable  to  a fine  not  exceeding 
100  Mexican  dollars. 

2.  If  any  error  is  discovered  in  the  manifest,  it  may  be  corrected 
within  twenty-four  hours  (exclusive  of  Sundays  and  holidays)  of  its 
being  handed  in,  without  the  payment  of  any  fee,  but  for  any  altera- 
tion or  post  entry  to  the  manifest  made  after  that  time  a fee  of 
5 Mexican  dollars  shall  be  paid. 

3.  Any  master  who  shall  neglect  to  enter  his  vessel  at  the  Korean 
Custom-house  within  the  time  fixed  by  this  Regulation  shall  pay  a 
penalty  not  exceeding  50  Mexican  dollars  for  every  twenty-four  hours 
that  he  shall  so  neglect  to  enter  his  ship. 

4.  Any  British  vessel  which  remains  in  port  for  less  than  forty-eight 
hours  (exclusive  of  Sundays  and  holidays)  and  does  not  open  her 
hatches,  also  any  vessel  driven  into  port  by  stress  of  weather,  or  only  in 
want  of  supplies,  shall  not  be  required  to  enter  of  to  pay  tonnage  dues 
so  long  as  such  vessel  does  not  engage  in  trade. 

5.  When  the  master  of  a vessel  wishes  to  clear,  he  shall  hand  in  to 
the  Customs  authorities  an  export  manifest  containing  similar  parti- 
culars to  those  given  in  the  import  manifest.  The  Customs  authorities 
will  then  issue  a clearance  certificate  and  return  the  Consul’s  receipt  for 
the  ship’s  papers.  These  documents  must  be  handed  into  the  Consulate 
before  the  ship’s  papers  are  returned  to  the  master. 

6.  Should  any  ship  leave  the  port  without  clearing  outwards  in  the 
manner  above  prescribed,  the  master  shall  be  liable  to  a penalty  not 
exceeding  200  Mexican  dollars. 

7.  British  steamers  may  enter  and  clear  on  the  same  day,  and  they 
shall  not  be  required  to  hand  in  a manifest  except  for  such  goods  as  are 
to  be  landed  or  transhipped  at  the  port  of  entry. 

II. — Landing  and  Shipping  of  Cargo,  and  Payment  of  Duties. 

1.  The  importer  of  any  goods  who  desires  to  land  them  shall  make 
and  sign  an  application  to  that  effect  at  the  Custom-house,  stating  his 
own  name,  the  name  of  the  ship  in  which  the  goods  have  been  imported, 
the  marks,  numbers,  and  contents  of  the  packages  and  their  values,  and 
declaring  that  this  statement  is  correct.  The  Customs  authorities  may 
demand  the  production  of  the  invoice  of  each  consignment  of  mer- 
chandise. If  it  is  not  produced,  or  if  its  absence  is  not  satisfactorily 
accounted  for,  the  owner  shall  be  allowed  to  land  his  goods  on  payment 
of  double  the  Tariff  duty,  but  the  surplus  duty  so  levied  shall  be  refunded 
on  the  production  of  the  invoice. 

2.  All  goods  so  entered  may  be  examined  by  the  Customs  officers  at 
the  places  appointed  for  the  purpose.  Such  examination  shall  be  made 


292 


APPENDICES 


without  delay  or  injury  to  the  merchandise,  and  the  packages  shall  be 
at  once  restored  by  the  Customs  authorities  to  their  original  condition, 
in  so  far  as  may  be  practicable. 

3.  Should  the  Customs  authorities  consider  the  value  of  any  goods 
paying  an  ad  valorem  duty  as  declared  by  the  importer  or  exporter 
insufficient,  they  shall  call  upon  him  to  pay  duty  on  the  value  deter- 
mined by  an  appraisement  to  be  made  by  the  Customs  appraiser.  But 
should  the  importer  or  exporter  be  dissatisfied  with  that  appraisement, 
he  shall  within  twenty-four  hours  (exclusive  of  Sundays  and  holidays) 
state  his  reasons  for  such  dissatisfaction  to  the  Commissioner  of  Customs, 
and  shall  appoint  an  appraiser  of  his  own  to  make  a re-appraisement. 
He  shall  then  declare  the  value  of  the  goods  as  determined  by  such 
re-appraisement.  The  Commissioner  of  Customs  will  thereupon,  at 
his  option,  either  assess  the  duty  on  the  value  determined  by  this 
re-appraisement,  or  purchase  the  goods  from  the  importer  or  exporter 
at  the  price  thus  determined,  with  the  addition  of  5 per  cent.  In  the 
latter  case  the  purchase-money  shall  be  paid  to  the  importer  or  exporter 
within  five  days  from  the  date  on  which  he  has  declared  the  value 
determined  by  his  own  appraiser. 

4.  Upon  all  goods  damaged  on  the  voyage  of  importation  a fair 
reduction  of  duty  shall  be  allowed,  proportionate  to  their  deterioration. 
If  any  disputes  arise  as  to  the  amount  of  such  reduction,  they  shall  be 
settled  in  the  manner  pointed  out  in  the  preceding  clause. 

5.  All  goods  intended  to  be  exported  shall  be  entered  at  the  Korean 
Custom-house  before  they  are  shipped.  The  application  to  ship  shall 
be  made  in  writing,  and  shall  state  the  name  of  the  vessel  by  which  the 
goods  are  to  be  exported,  the  marks  and  number  of  the  packages,  and 
the  quantity,  description,  and  value  of  the  contents.  The  exporter 
shall  certify  in  writing  that  the  application  gives  a true  account  of  all 
the  goods  contained  therein,  and  shall  sign  his  name  thereto. 

6.  No  goods  shall  be  landed  or  shipped  at  other  places  than  those 
fixed  by  the  Korean  Customs  authorities,  or  between  the  hours  of 
sunset  or  sunrise,  or  on  Sundays  or  holidays,  without  the  special 
permission  of  the  Customs  authorities,  who  will  be  entitled  to  reasonable 
fees  for  the  extra  duty  thus  performed. 

7.  Claims  by  importers  or  exporters  for  duties  paid  in  excess,  or  by 
the  Customs  authorities  for  duties  which  have  not  been  fully  paid,  shall 
be  entertained  only  when  made  within  thirty  days  from  the  date  of 
payment. 

8.  No  entry  will  be  required  in  the  case  of  provisions  for  the  use  of 
British  ships,  their  crews  and  passengers,  nor  for  the  baggage  of  the 
latter  which  may  be  landed  or  shipped  at  any  time  after  examination  by 
the  Customs  officers. 


APPENDICES 


293 


i 

9.  Vessels  needing  repairs  may  land  their  cargo  for  that  purpose 
without  the  payment  of  duty.  All  goods  so  landed  shall  remain  in 
charge  of  the  Korean  authorities,  and  all  just  charges  for  storage, 
labour,  and  supervision  shall  be  paid  by  the  master.  But  if  any 
portion  of  such  cargo  be  sold,  the  duties  of  the  Tariff  shall  be  paid 
on  the  portion  so  disposed  of. 

10.  Any  person  desiring  to  tranship  cargo  shall  obtain  a permit  from 
the  Customs  authorities  before  doing  so. 

III. — Protection  of  the  Revenue. 

1.  The  Customs  authorities  shall  have  the  right  to  place  Customs 
officers  on  board  any  British  merchant-vessel  in  their  ports.  All  such 
Customs  officers  shall  have  access  to  all  parts  of  the  ship  in  which 
cargo  is  stowed.  They  shall  be  treated  with  civility,  and  such 
reasonable  accommodation  shall  be  allotted  to  them  as  the  ship  affords. 

2.  The  hatches  and  all  other  places  of  entrance  into  that  part  of  the 
ship  where  cargo  is  stowed  may  be  secured  by  the  Korean  Customs 
officers  between  the  hours  of  sunset  and  sunrise,  and  on  Sundays  and 
holidays,  by  affixing  seals,  locks,  or  other  fastenings,  and  if  any  person 
shall,  without  due  permission,  wilfully  open  any  entrance  that  has  been 
so  secured,  or  break  any  seal,  lock,  or  other  fastening  that  has  been 
affixed  by  the  Korean  Customs  officers,  not  only  the  person  so  offending, 
but  the  master  of  the  ship  also,  shall  be  liable  to  a penalty  not  exceeding 
100  Mexican  dollars. 

3.  Any  British  subject  who  ships,  or  attempts  to  ship,  or  discharges, 
or  attempts  to  discharge,  goods  which  have  not  been  duly  entered  at 
the  Custom-house  in'the  manner  above  provided,  or  packages  containing 
goods  different  from  those  described  in  the  import  or  export  permit 
application,  or  prohibited  goods,  shall  forfeit  twice  the  value  of  such 
goods,  and  the  goods  shall  be  confiscated. 

4.  Any  person  signing  a false  declaration  or  certificate  with  the 
intent  to  defraud  the  revenue  of  Korea  shall  be  liable  to  a fine  not 
exceeding  200  Mexican  dollars. 

5.  Any  violation  of  any  provision  of  these  Regulations,  to  which  no 
penalty  is  specially  attached  herein,  may  be  punished  by  a fine  not 
exceeding  100  Mexican  dollars. 

Note. — All  documents  required  by  these  Regulations,  and  all  other 
communications  addressed  to  the  Korean  Customs  authorities,  may  be 
written  in  the  English  language. 

(L.S.)  Harry  S.  Parkes. 

(L.S.)  Signature  in  Chinese  of  Min  Yong-Mok, 

the  Korean  Plenipotentiary. 


294 


APPENDICES 


The  Import  Tariff  ranged  from  5 to  20  per  cent.  A few  articles, 
such  as  books,  agricultural  instruments,  types,  plants,  trees,  shrubs, 
&c.,  came  in  free,  while  adulterated  drugs,  arms,  ammunition,  counter- 
feit coins,  and  opium  were  prohibited. 

Export  Tariff. 

Class  I. — Duty  free  export  goods  : — 

Bullion,  being  gold  and  silver  refined  ; coins,  gold  and  silver  all 
kinds ; plants,  trees  and  shrubs,  all  kinds ; samples,  in  reasonable 
quantity  ; travellers’  baggage. 

Class  II. — All  other  native  goods  or  productions  not  enumerated  in 
Class.  I will  pay  an  ad  valorem  duty  of  5 per  cent. 

The  exportation  of  red  ginseng  is  prohibited. 

Rules. 

1.  In  the  case  of  imported  articles  the  ad  valorem  duties  of  this 
Tariff  will  be  calculated  on  the  actual  cost  of  the  goods  at  the  place  of 
production  or  fabrication,  with  the  addition  of  freight,  insurance,  &c. 
In  the  case  of  export  articles  the  ad  valorem  duties  will  be  calculated 
on  market  values  in  Korea. 

2.  Duties  may  be  paid  in  Mexican  dollars  or  Japanese  silver  yen. 

3.  The  above  Tariff  of  import  and  export  duties  shall  be  converted 
as  soon  as  possible,  and  as  far  as  may  be  deemed  desirable,  into 
specific  rates  by  agreement  between  the  competent  authorities  of  the 
two  countries. 

(L.S.)  Harry  S.  Parkes. 

(L.S.)  Signature  in  Chinese  of  Min  Yong-Mok, 

Korean  Plenipotentiary . 


Protocol. 

The  above-named  Plenipotentiaries  hereby  make  and  append  to  this 
Treaty  the  following  three  declarations: — 

1.  With  reference  to  Article  III.  of  this  Treaty,  it  is  hereby  declared 
that  the  right  of  extra-territorial  jurisdiction  over  British  subjects  in 
Korea  granted  by  this  Treaty  shall  be  relinquished  when,  in  the  judg- 
ment of  the  British  Government,  the  laws  and  legal  procedure  of 
Korea  shall  have  been  so  far  modified  and  reformed  as  to  remove  the 
objections  which  now  exist  to  British  subjects  being  placed  under 
Korean  jurisdiction,  and  Korean  Judges  shall  have  attained  similar 
legal  qualifications  and  a similar  independent  position  to  those  of 
British  Judges. 


APPENDICES 


295 


2.  With  reference  to  Article  IV.  of  this  Treaty,  it  is  hereby  declared 
that  if  the  Chinese  Government  shall  hereafter  surrender  the  right  of 
opening  commercial  establishments  in  the  city  of  Hanyang,  which  was 
granted  last  year  to  Chinese  subjects,  the  same  right  shall  not  be 
claimed  for  British  subjects,  provided  that  it  be  not  granted  by  the 
Korean  Government  to  the  subjects  of  any  other  Power. 

3.  It  is  hereby  declared  that  the  provisions  of  this  Treaty  shall  apply 
to  all  British  Colonies,  unless  any  exception  shall  be  notified  by  Her 
Majesty’s  Government  to  that  of  Korea  within  one  year  from  the  date 
in  which  the  ratifications  of  this  Treaty  shall  be  exchanged. 

And  it  is  hereby  further  stipulated  that  this  Protocol  shall  be  laid 
before  the  High  Contracting  Parties  simultaneously  with  this  Treaty, 
and  that  the  ratification  of  this  Treaty  shall  include  the  confirmation  of 
the  above  three  declarations,  for  which,  therefore,  no  separate  act  of 
ratification  will  be  required. 

In  faith  of  which  the  above-named  Plenipotentiaries  have  this  day 
signed  this  Protocol,  and  have  thereto  affixed  their  seals. 

Done  at  Hanyang  this  twenty-sixth  day  of  November,  in  the  year 
eighteen  hundred  and  eighty-three,  corresponding  to  the  twenty-seventh 
day  of  the  tenth  month  of  the  four  hundred  and  ninety-second  year 
of  the  Korean  era,  being  the  ninth  year  of  the  Chinese  reign 
Kuang  Hsii. 

(L.S.)  Harry  S.  Parkes. 

(L.S.)  Signature  in  Chinese  of  Min  Yong-Mok, 

Korean  Plenipotentiary . 


CONVENTION  BETWEEN  CHINA  AND  JAPAN, 
APRIL,  1885 

Ito,  Ambassador  Extraordinary  of  the  Great  Empire  of  Japan, 
Minister  of  State  and  the  Imperial  Household,  First  Class  of  the 
Order  of  the  Rising  Sun  and  Count  of  the  Empire  ; 

Li,  Special  Plenipotentiary  of  the  Great  Empire  of  China,  Grand 
Guardian  of  the  Heir  Apparent,  Senior  Grand  Secretary  of  State, 
Superintendent  of  the  North  Sea  Trade,  President  of  the  Board  of 
War,  Viceroy  of  Chih-li  and  Count  Shiriu-ki  of  the  first  rank ; 

In  obedience  to  the  Decrees  which  each  of  them  respectively  is 
bound  to  obey,  after  conference  held,  have  agreed  upon  a Convention 
with  a view  to  preserving  and  promoting  friendly  relations  (between 
the  two  great  Empires),  the  Articles  of  which  are  set  down  in  order  as 
follow  : — 

It  is  hereby  agreed  that  China  shall  withdraw  her  troops  now 
stationed  in  Korea,  and  that  Japan  shall  withdraw  hers  stationed  there- 
in for  the  protection  of  her  Legation.  The  specific  term  for  effecting 
the  same  shall  be  four  months  commencing  from  the  date  of  the 
signing  and  sealing  of  this  Convention,  within  which  term  they  shall 
respectively  accomplish  the  withdrawal  of  the  whole  number  of  each  of 
their  troops  in  order  to  avoid  effectively  any  complications  between  the 
respective  countries  : the  Chinese  troops  shall  embark  from  Masampo 
and  the  Japanese  from  the  port  of  Ninsen. 

The  said  respective  Powers  mutually  agree  to  invite  the  King  of 
Korea  to  instruct  and  drill  a sufficient  armed  force,  that  she  may  herself 
assure  her  public  security,  and  to  invite  him  to  engage  into  his  service 
an  officer  or  officers  from  amongst  those  of  a third  Power,  who  shall  be 
intrusted  with  the  instruction  of  the  said  force.  The  respective  Powers 
also  bind  themselves,  each  to  the  other,  henceforth  not  to  send  any  of 
their  own  officers  to  Korea  for  the  purpose  of  giving  said  instruction. 

In  case  of  any  disturbance  of  a grave  nature  occurring  in  Korea 
which  necessitates  the  respective  countries  or  either  of  them  to  send 
troops  to  Korea,  it  is  hereby  understood  that  they  shall  give,  each  to 

296 


APPENDICES 


297 


the  other,  previous  notice  in  writing  of  their  intention  so  to  do,  and 
that  after  the  matter  is  settled,  they  shall  withdraw  their  troops  and  not 
further  station  them  there. 

Signed  and  sealed  this  18th  day  of  the  4th  month,  of  the  18th  year  of 
Meiji  (Japanese  Calendar)  ; the  4th  day  of  the  3rd  moon  of  the  nth 
year  of  Kocho  (Chinese  Calendar). 

(L.S.)  Ito, 

Ambassador  Extraordinary  of  the  Great 

Empire  of  Japan , <&v. 


(L.S.)  Li, 

Special  Plenipotentiary  of  the  Great 

Empire  of  China , &’c. 


THE  TREATY  OE  SHIMONOSEKI,  1895 


The  Chinese  and  Japanese  Plenipotentiaries,  who  met  at  Shimono- 
seki  to  discuss  the  terms  of  peace  between  the  two  countries,  dealt  with 
the  independence  of  Korea.  The  Japanese  proposal  submitted  on 
April  1st  was  : — 

“ China  recognises  definitively  the  full  and  complete  independence 
and  autonomy  of  Korea,  and  in  consequence  the  payment  of  tribute 
and  the  performance  of  ceremonies  and  formalities  by  Korea  to  China 
in  derogation  of  such  independence  and  autonomy  shall  wholly  cease 
for  the  future.” 

In  reply  Li  Hung  Chang  wrote  : — 

“The  Chinese  Government  some  two  months  ago  indicated  its 
willingness  to  recognise  the  full  and  complete  independence  and 
guarantee  the  complete  neutrality  of  Korea,  and  is  ready  to  insert 
such  a stipulation  in  the  Treaty  ; but  in  due  reciprocity,  such  stipula- 
tion should  likewise  be  made  by  Japan.  Hence  the  article  will  require 
to  be  modified  in  this  respect.” 

On  April  6th  the  Chinese  Plenipotentiary  was  asked  to  formulate 
his  wording  of  the  clause.  He  did  so  (April  9th)  as  follows: — 

“China  and  Japan  recognise  definitely  the  full  and  complete  inde- 
pendence and  autonomy,  and  guarantee  the  complete  neutrality  of 
Korea,  and  it  is  agreed  that  the  interference  by  either  in  the  internal 
affairs  of  Korea  in  derogation  of  such  autonomy  or  the  performances  of 
ceremonies  and  formalities  by  Korea  inconsistent  with  such  independ- 
ence, shall  wholly  cease  for  the  future.” 

To  this  Japan  replied  (April  10th) : — 

“The  Japanese  Plenipotentiaries  find  it  necessary  to  adhere  to  this 
Article  as  originally  presented  to  the  Chinese  Plenipotentiary.” 

The  clause  finally  appeared  in  the  Treaty  as  originally  framed  by 
Japan. 


RUSSO-JAPANESE  AGREEMENT,  MAY-JUNE,  1896 

The  Representatives  of  Russia  and  Japan  at  Seoul,  having  conferred 
under  the  identical  instructions  from  their  respective  Governments, 
have  arrived  at  the  following  conclusions : — 

I.  While  leaving  the  matter  of  His  Majesty’s,  the  King  of  Korea, 
return  to  the  Palace,  entirely  to  his  own  discretion  and  judgment,  the 
Representatives  of  Russia  and  Japan  will  in  a friendly  way  advise  His 
Majesty  to  return  to  that  place,  when  no  doubts  concerning  his  safety 
there  could  be  entertained. 

The  Japanese  Representative,  on  his  part,  gives  the  assurance,  that 
the  most  complete  and  effective  measures  will  be  taken  for  the  control 
of  Japanese  soshi. 

II.  The  present  Cabinet  Ministers  have  been  appointed  by  His 
Majesty  from  his  own  free  will,  and  most  of  them  held  ministerial  or 
other  high  offices  during  the  last  two  years,  and  are  known  to  be 
liberal  and  moderate  men. 

The  two  Representatives  will  always  aim  at  recommending  to  His 
Majesty  to  appoint  liberal  and  moderate  men  as  Ministers  and  to  show 
clemency  to  his  subjects. 

III.  The  Representative  of  Russia  quite  agrees  with  the  Representa- 
tive of  Japan  that,  at  the  present  state  of  affairs  in  Korea,  it  may  be 
necessary  to  have  Japanese  guards  stationed  at  some  places  for  the  pro- 
tection of  the  Japanese  telegraph  line  between  Fusan  and  Seoul,  and 
that  these  guards,  now  consisting  of  three  companies  of  soldiers,  should 
be  withdrawn  as  soon  as  possible  and  replaced  by  gendarmes,  who  will 
be  distributed  as  follows  : fifty  men  at  Tai-ku,  fifty  men  at  Ka-heung, 
and  ten  men  each  at  ten  intermediate  posts  between  Fusan  and  Seoul. 
This  distribution  may  be  liable  to  some  changes,  but  the  total  number 
of  the  gendarme  force  shall  never  exceed  200  men,  who  will 
afterwards  gradually  be  withdrawn  from  such  places  where  peace  and 
order  have  been  restored  by  the  Korean  Government. 

IV.  For  the  protection  of  the  Japanese  settlements  at  Seoul  and  the 
open  ports  against  possible  attacks  by  the  Korean  populace,  two 

299 


300 


APPENDICES 


companies  of  Japanese  troops  may  be  stationed  at  Seoul,  one  company 
at  Fusan  and  one  at  Gensan,  each  company  not  to  exceed  200 
men.  These  troops  will  be  quartered  near  the  settlements  and  shall 
be  withdrawn  as  soon  as  no  apprehension  of  such  attack  could  be 
entertained. 

For  the  protection  of  the  Russian  Legation  and  Consulate,  the 
Russian  Government  may  also  keep  guards  not  exceeding  the  number 
of  Japanese  troops  at  those  places,  and  these  will  be  withdrawn  as  soon 
as  tranquility  in  the  interior  is  completely  restored. 

(Signed)  C.  Waeber,  (Signed)  J.  Komura, 

Representative  of  Russia.  Representative  of  Japan. 

Seoul,  May  14,  1896. 


PROCTOCOL,  JUNE  9,  1896 

The  Secretary  of  State,  Prince  Labanow-Rostovsky,  Foreign 
Minister  of  Russia,  and  Marshal  Marquis  Yamagata,  Ambassador 
Extraordinary  of  His  Majesty,  the  Emperor  of  Japan,  having  ex- 
changed their  views  on  the  situation  in  Korea,  agreed  upon  the 
following  articles  : — 

I.  For  the  remedy  of  the  financial  difficulties  of  Korea,  the  Govern- 
ments of  Russia  and  Japan  will  advise  the  Korean  Government  to 
retrench  all  superfluous  expenditure  and  to  establish  a balance  between 
expenses  and  revenues.  If,  in  consequence  of  reforms  deemed  indis- 
pensable, it  may  become  necessary  to  have  recourse  to  foreign  loans, 
both  Governments  shall,  by  mutual  concert,  give  their  support  to 
Korea. 

II.  The  Governments  of  Russia  and  Japan  shall  endeavour  to  leave 
to  Korea,  as  far  as  the  financial  and  commercial  situation  of  that 
country  will  permit,  the  formation  and  maintenance  of  a national  armed 
force,  and  police  of  such  proportions  as  will  be  sufficient  for  the 
preservation  of  internal  peace  without  foreign  support. 

III.  With  a view  to  facilitate  communications  with  Korea  the 
Japanese  Government  may  continue  to  administer  the  telegraph  lines 
which  are  at  present  in  its  hands. 

It  is  reserved  to  Russia  (the  right)  of  building  a telegraph  line 
between  Seoul  and  her  frontiers. 

These  different  lines  can  be  repurchased  by  the  Korean  Government 
as  soon  as  it  has  the  means  to  do  so. 

IV.  In  case  the  above  matters  should  require  a more  exact  or  detailed 
explanation,  or  if  subsequently  some  other  points  should  present  them- 
selves upon  which  it  should  be  necessary  to  confer,  the  representatives 
of  both  Governments  shall  be  authorised  to  negotiate  in  a spirit  of 
friendship. 

(Signed)  Lobanow.  Yamagata. 

Moscow,  June  9,  1896. 


301 


PROTOCOL,  APRIL,  1S9S 

Baron  Nishi,  Minister  for  Foreign  Affairs  of  His  Majesty  the  Emperor 
of  Japan,  and  Baron  Rosen,  le  Conseiller  d’Etat  actuel  et  Chambellan, 
Envoy  Extraordinary  and  Minister  Plenipotentiary  of  His  Majesty  the 
Emperor  of  all  the  Russias,  duly  authorised  to  that  effect,  have  agreed 
upon  the  following  Articles  in  pursuance  of  Article  IV.  of  the  Protocol 
signed  at  Moscow  on  the  9th  June  (28th  May),  1896,  between  Marshal 
Marquis  Yamagata  and  Prince  Lobanow,  Secretary  of  State  : — 

Art.  I. — The  Imperial  Governments  of  Japan  and  Russia  defini- 
tively recognise  the  sovereignty  and  entire  independence  of  Korea,  and 
mutually  engage  to  refrain  from  all  direct  interference  in  the  internal 
affairs  of  that  country. 

Art.  II. — Desiring  to  avoid  every  possible  cause  of  misunderstanding 
in  the  future,  the  Imperial  Governments  of  Japan  and  Russia  mutually 
engage,  in  case  Korea  should  apply  to  Japan  or  to  Russia  for  advice 
and  assistance,  not  to  take  any  measure  in  the  nomination  of  military 
instructors  and  financial  advisers  without  having  previously  come  to  a 
mutual  agreement  on  the  subject. 

Art.  III. — In  view  of  the  large  development  of  Japanese  commercial 
and  industrial  enterprises  in  Korea,  as  well  as  the  considerable  number 
of  Japanese  subjects  resident  in  that  country,  the  Imperial  Russian 
Government  will  not  impede  the  development  of  the  commercial  and 
industrial  relations  between  Japan  and  Korea. 

Done  at  Tokyo,  in  duplicate,  this  25th  day  of  April,  1898. 

Nishi. 

Rosen. 


3m 


CLAUSES  IN  THE  ANGLO- JAPANESE  ALLIANCES 
RELATING  TO  KOREA 

The  Anglo-Japanese  Alliance,  January,  1902. 

Art.  I. — The  High  Contracting  Parties,  having  mutually  recognised 
the  independence  of  China  and  Korea,  declare  themselves  to  be  entirely 
uninfluenced  by  any  aggressive  tendencies  in  either  country.  Having 
in  view,  however,  their  special  interests,  of  which  those  of  Great 
Britain  relate  principally  to  China,  while  Japan,  in  addition  to  the 
interests  which  she  possesses  in  China,  is  interested  in  a peculiar 
degree,  politically  as  well  as  commercially  and  industrially,  in  Korea, 
the  High  Contracting  Parties  recognise  that  it  will  be  admissible  for 
either  of  them  to  take  such  measures  as  may  be  indispensable  in  order 
to  safeguard  those  interests  if  threatened  either  by  the  aggressive  action 
of  any  other  Power  or  by  disturbances  arising  in  China  or  Korea,  and 
necessitating  the  intervention  of  either  of  the  High  Contracting  Parties 
for  the  protection  of  the  lives  and  property  of  its  subjects. 

The  Anglo-Japanese  Alliance,  September  27,  1905. 

Preamble. — The  Governments  of  Japan  and  Great  Britain,  being 
desirous  of  replacing  the  Agreement  concluded  between  them  on  the 
30th  of  January,  1902,  by  fresh  stipulations,  have  agreed  upon  the 
following  Articles,  which  have  for  their  object : — 

(a)  The  consolidation  and  maintenance  of  the  general  peace  in  the 
regions  of  Eastern  Asia  and  of  India  ; 

(b)  The  preservation  of  the  common  interests  of  all  Powers  in  China 
by  insuring  the  independence  and  integrity  of  the  Chinese  Empire  and 
the  principle  of  equal  opportunities  for  the  commerce  and  industry  of 
all  nations  in  China  ; 

( c ) The  maintenance  of  the  territorial  rights  of  the  High  Contracting 
Parties  in  the  regions  of  Eastern  Asia  and  of  India,  and  the  defence  of 
their  special  interests  in  the  said  regions. 

Art.  III. — Japan  possessing  paramount  political,  military,  and 

303 


304 


APPENDICES 


economic  interests  in  Korea,  Great  Britain  recognises  the  right  of 
Japan  to  take  such  measures  of  guidance,  control,  and  protection  in 
Korea  as  she  may  deem  proper  and  necessary  to  safeguard  and 
advance  these  interests,  provided  always  that  such  measures  are  not 
contrary  to  the  principle  of  equal  opportunities  for  the  commerce 
and  industry  of  all  nations. 


KOREA  AT  THE  PORTSMOUTH  CONFERENCE 


The  first  clause  of  the  Japanese  demands  at  the  Portsmouth  Confer- 
ence dealt  with  Korea  : — 

“ Russia,  acknowledging  that  Japan  possesses  in  Korea  paramount 
political,  military  and  economical  interests,  to  engage  not  to  obstruct 
or  interfere  with  any  measures  of  guidance,  protection  and  control 
which  Japan  finds  it  necessary  to  take  in  Korea.” 

In  reply  the  Russian  representatives  made  the  following  statement: — 
“ Le  premier  article  ne  souleve  pas  d’objection.  Le  Gouvernement 
Imperial,  reconnaissant  que  le  Japon  possede  en  Coree  des  interets 
preponderants  politiques,  militaires  et  economiques,  est  pret  a s’engager 
a ne  point  obstruer  ni  intervenir  en  ce  prendre  en  Coree.  II  va  sans 
dire  que,  de  protection  et  de  controle  que  le  Japon  considerera 
necessaire  de  prendre  en  Coree.  II  va  sans  dire  que  la  Russie  et  les 
subjets  russes  jouiront  de  tous  les  droits  qui  appartiennent  ou 
appartiendront  aux  autres  Puissances  Etrangeres  et  leurs  ressortissants. 
II  est  egalement  entendu  que  la  mise  en  vigueur  par  le  Japon  des 
mesures  susmentionnees  ne  portera  pas  atteinte  aux  droits  souverains 
de  l’Empereur  de  Coree.  En  ce  qui  concerne  particulierement  les 
mesures  militaires,  le  Japon,  dans  le  but  d’eloigner  toute  cause  de 
malentendu,  s’abstiendra  de  prendre  des  mesures  qui  pourraient 
menacer  la  securite  du  territoire  russe  limitrophe  de  la  Coree.” 

The  clause  of  the  Treaty  as  finally  arranged  was  : — 

“ The  Imperial  Russian  Government,  acknowledging  that  Japan 
possesses  in  Korea  paramount  political,  military,  and  economical 
interests,  engage  neither  to  obstruct  nor  interfere  with  the  measures 
of  guidance,  protection,  and  control  which  the  Imperial  Government 
of  Japan  may  find  it  necessary  to  take  in  Korea. 

“ It  is  understood  that  Russian  subjects  in  Korea  shall  be  treated 
exactly  in  the  same  manner  as  the  subjects  or  citizens  of  other  foreign 
Powers,  that  is  to  say,  they  shall  be  placed  on  the  same  footing  as 
the  subjects  or  citizens  of  the  favoured  nation. 

“ It  is  also  agreed  that,  in  order  to  avoid  all  cause  of  misunderstand- 
ing, the  two  High  Contracting  Parties  will  abstain,  on  the  Russo-Korean 
frontier,  from  taking  any  military  measure  which  may  menace  the 
security  of  Russian  or  Korean  territory.” 

21 


3°5 


JAPAN-KOREAN  PROTOCOL,  FEBRUARY  23,  1904 


Mr.  Hyashi,  Envoy  Extraordinary  and  Minister  Plenipotentiary 
of  His  Majesty  the  Emperor  of  Japan,  and  Major-General  Yi  Tchi 
Yong,  Minister  of  State  for  Foreign  Affairs  interim  of  His  Majesty  the 
Emperor  of  Korea,  being  respectively  duly  empowered  for  the  purpose, 
have  agreed  upon  the  following  Articles  : — 

Art.  I.  For  the  purpose  of  maintaining  a permanent  and  solid 
friendship  between  Japan  and  Korea  and  firmly  establishing  peace  in 
the  Far  East,  the  Imperial  Government  of  Korea  shall  place  full  con- 
fidence in  the  Imperial  Government  of  Japan  and  adopt  the  advice  of 
the  latter  in  regard  to  improvement  in  administration. 

Art.  II.  The  Imperial  Government  of  Japan  shall  in  a spirit  of 
firm  friendship  ensure  the  safety  and  repose  of  the  Imperial  House  of 
Korea. 

Art.  III.  The  Imperial  Government  of  Japan  definitively  guaran- 
tees the  independence  and  territorial  integrity  of  the  Korean  Empire. 

Art.  IV.  In  case  the  welfare  of  the  Imperial  House  of  Korea  or 
the  territorial  integrity  of  Korea  is  endangered  by  aggression  of  a third 
Power  or  internal  disturbances,  the  Imperial  Government  of  Japan 
shall  immediately  take  such  necessary  measures  as  the  circumstances 
require,  and  in  such  cases  the  Imperial  Government  of  Korea  shall 
give  full  facilities  to  promote  action  of  the  Imperial  Japanese  Govern- 
ment. 

The  Imperial  Government  of  Japan  may,  for  the  attainment  of  the 
above-mentioned  object,  occupy,  when  the  circumstances  require  it, 
such  places  as  may  be  necessary  from  strategical  points  of  view. 

Art.  V.  The  Governments  of  the  two  countries  shall  not  in  future, 
without  mutual  consent,  conclude  with  a third  Power  such  an  arrange- 
ment as  may  be  contrary  to  the  principle  of  the  present  Protocol. 

Art.  VI.  Details  in  connection  with  the  present  Protocol  shall  be 
arranged  as  the  circumstances  may  require,  between  the  Representative 
of  Japan  and  the  Minister  of  State  for  Foreign  Affairs  of  Korea. 

Done  at  Seoul,  February  23,  1904. 

This  relation  between  the  two  countries  was  further  made  closer  with 
the  restoration  of  peace,  and  by  a new  convention  concluded  at  that 
time  Korea  was  placed  under  the  protection  of  Japan. 

306 


JAPAN-KOREAN  TREATY,  AUGUST,  1904 

1.  The  Korean  Financial  Department  to  engage  a Japanese  as  Super- 
intendent of  Korean  finances  in  order  to  carry  out  fiscal  reforms. 

2.  Japan  to  advance  the  necessary  funds  to  Korea  in  order  to  enable 
her  to  effect  financial  reforms,  3,000,000  yen  being  lent  as  first  in- 
stalment. 

3.  Sound  currency  system  to  be  established  by  abolishing  the 
present  Mint  and  withdrawing  the  copper  coins  now  in  circulation. 

4.  Currency  union  to  be  established  between  Japan  and  Korea,  and 
Japanese  money  to  be  accepted  as  legal  tender  by  the  Koreans. 

5.  A Central  Bank  to  be  established  in  Korea  to  facilitate  the  collec- 
tion of  taxes  and  the  handling  of  public  money. 

6.  A model  administrative  system  to  be  adopted  in  Kyong-kwi 
Province,  and  similar  system  to  be  adopted  in  other  provinces  when 
this  experiment  proves  successful. 

7.  Mr.  W.  H.  Stevens  is  to  be  engaged  by  the  Korean  Foreign 
Department  as  its  Adviser  in  order  to  improve  foreign  intercourse. 

8.  Korea  to  recall  her  Ministers  and  Consuls  stationed  abroad  when 
she  decides  to  place  her  foreign  affairs  and  the  protection  of  her  subjects 
staying  abroad  in  charge  of  Japan. 

9.  The  Foreign  Ministers  to  Korea  to  be  withdrawn  from  Seoul  and 
the  Foreign  Consuls  alone  to  remain  on  duty  with  the  withdrawal  of 
the  Korean  Ministers  and  Consuls  from  the  foreign  countries. 

10.  The  Korean  army,  at  present  20,000,  to  be  reduced  to  1,000, 
and  all  the  garrisons  in  the  provinces  to  be  disbanded,  one  at  Seoul 
alone  being  kept. 

11.  Military  arms  to  be  made  common  between  Japan  and  Korea 
with  the  object  of  adjusting  the  existing  military  system  in  the  latter 
country. 

12.  Soothsayers,  fortune-tellers,  and  other  officials  ministering  to 
superstition  to  be  expelled  from  the  surroundings  of  the  Sovereign 
to  uphold  his  dignity. 

13.  All  superfluous  Government  offices  and  officials  to  be  dis- 
charged. 


307 


3°8 


APPENDICES 


14.  Government  posts  to  be  made  open  to  all  classes  of  the  people, 
without  regard  to  rank  and  family  relation. 

15.  The  practice  of  selling  Government  posts  to  be  prohibited,  and 
the  officials  to  be  selected  from  among  those  who  are  competent. 

16.  Salaries  of  the  Ministers  of  State  and  other  Government 
officials  to  be  increased  so  as  to  awake  in  them  a stronger  sense 
of  responsibility. 

17.  Definite  educational  policy  to  be  established,  and  organisation 
of  universities,  middle  schools,  and  primary  schools  to  be  modelled 
after  that  existing  in  Japan  ; also  technical  schools  to  be  established 
in  order  to  encourage  industry. 

18.  A distinct  line  of  demarkation  to  be  drawn  between  the  Court 
and  the  Government. 

12.  The  present  foreign  Advisers  to  be  reduced  in  number  with  the 
abolition  and  amalgamation  of  the  Government  offices. 

20.  The  post  of  Supreme  Adviser  to  the  Korean  Government  to 
remain  unfilled  for  the  present. 

21.  Agriculture  to  be  improved  by  reclaiming  waste  lands  and 
developing  the  natural  resources  of  the  soil. 


TREATY  BETWEEN  JAPAN  AND  KOREA 
Signed  November  17,  1905. 

The  Japanese  and  Korean  Governments,  being  desirous  of  strengthen- 
ing the  identity  of  interests  which  unite  the  two  Empires,  have,  with 
the  same  end  in  view,  agreed  upon  the  following  Articles,  which  will 
remain  binding  until  the  power  and  prosperity  of  Korea  are  recognised 
as  having  been  firmly  established  : — 

I.  The  Japanese  Government,  through  the  Foreign  Office  at  Tokyo, 
will  henceforward  take  control  and  direct  the  foreign  relations  and 
affairs  of  Korea,  and  Japanese  diplomatic  representatives  and  Consuls 
will  protect  the  subjects  and  interests  of  Korea  abroad. 

II.  The  Japanese  Government  will  take  upon  itself  the  duty  of 
carrying  out  the  existing  Treaties  between  Korea  and  foreign  countries, 
and  the  Korean  Government  binds  itself  not  to  negotiate  any  Treaty 
or  Agreement  of  a diplomatic  nature  without  the  intermediary  of  the 
Japanese  Government. 

III.  (a)  The  Japanese  Government  will  appoint  under  His  Majesty 
the  Emperor  of  Korea  a Resident-General  as  its  representative,  who 
will  remain  in  Seoul  chiefly  to  administer  diplomatic  affairs  with  the 
prerogative  of  having  private  audience  with  His  Majesty  the  Emperor 
of  Korea. 

(6)  The  Japanese  Government  is  entitled  to  appoint  a Resident  to 
every  Korean  open  port  and  other  places  where  the  presence  of  such 
Resident  is  considered  necessary.  These  Residents,  under  the  super- 
vision of  the  Resident-General,  will  administer  all  the  duties  hitherto 
appertaining  to  Japanese  Consulates  in  Korea  and  all  other  affairs 
necessary  for  the  satisfactory  fulfilment  of  the  provisions  of  this 
treaty. 

IV.  All  the  existing  Treaties  and  Agreements  between  Japan  and 
Korea,  within  limits  not  prejudicial  to  the  provisions  of  this  Treaty, 
will  remain  in  force. 

V.  The  Japanese  Government  guarantees  to  maintain  the  security 
and  respect  the  dignity  of  the  Korean  Imperial  House. 

309 


APPENDICES 


310 

In  witness  whereof  the  undersigned,  with  due  power  granted  by 
their  respective  Governments,  have  signed  this  Treaty  and  affixed 
their  seals. 

H^yashi  Gonsuke, 

Japanese  Minister  Plenipotentiary  and 
Envoy  Extraordinary . 

Pak  Che  Soon, 

Korean  Minister  of  State  for  Foreign 
Affairs. 


THE  JAPAN-KOREAN  TREATY,  JULY  24,  1907 

The  Government  of  Japan  and  the  Government  of  Korea,  with  the 
object  of  speedily  providing  for  the  power  and  wealth  of  Korea  and 
also  of  promoting  the  welfare  of  the  Korean  people,  have  agreed  on  the 
following  Articles  : — 

Art.  I.  The  Government  of  Korea  shall  follow  the  guidance  of  the 
Resident-General  in  effecting  administrative  reforms. 

Art.  II.  All  the  laws  to  be  enacted  and  all  important  administrative 
measures  to  be  undertaken  by  the  Korean  Government  shall  previously 
receive  the  consent  and  approval  of  the  Resident-General. 

Art.  III.  Distinction  shall  be  observed  between  the  administration 
of  justice  by  the  Government  of  Korea  and  the  business  of  ordinary 
administration. 

Art.  IV.  The  appointment  and  dismissal  of  high  officials  of  Korea 
shall  be  at  the  pleasure  of  the  Resident-General. 

Art.  V.  The  Government  of  Korea  shall  appoint  to  the  Govern- 
ment offices  of  Korea  any  Japanese  the  Resident-General  may 
recommend. 

Art.  VI.  The  Government  of  Korea  shall  engage  no  foreigner 
without  the  consent  of  the  Resident-General. 

Art.  VII.  Clause  1 of  the  Japan-Korea  Agreement  signed 
August  22,  Meiji  37  (1904),  is  rescinded. 

July  24,  40th  year  Meiji. 

July  24,  nth  year  Kwangmu. 

Resident-General  Ito. 

Prime  Minister  Yi. 


PETITION  FROM  THE  KOREANS  OF  HAWAII  TO 
PRESIDENT  ROOSEVELT 


Honolulu,  T.H. 

July  12,  1905. 


To  His  Excellency, 

The  President  of  the  United  States. 


Your  Excellency, — The  undersigned  have  been  authorised  by  the 
8,000  Koreans  now  residing  in  the  territory  of  Hawaii  at  a special 
mass  meeting  held  in  the  city  of  Honolulu,  on  July  12,  1905,  to  present 
to  your  Excellency  the  following  appeal  : — 

We,  the  Koreans  of  the  Hawaiian  Islands,  voicing  the  sentiments  of 
twelve  millions  of  our  countrymen,  humbly  lay  before  your  Excellency 
the  following  facts  : — 

Soon  after  the  commencement  of  the  war  between  Russia  and  Japan, 
our  Government  made  a treaty  of  alliance  with  Japan  for  offensive  and 
defensive  purposes.  By  virtue  of  this  treaty  the  whole  of  Korea  was 
opened  to  the  Japanese,  and  both  the  Government  and  the  people  have 
been  assisting  the  Japanese  authorities  in  their  military  operations  in 
and  about  Korea. 

The  contents  of  this  treaty  are  undoubtedly  known  to  your  Excellency, 
therefore  we  need  not  embody  them  in  this  appeal.  Suffice  it  to  state, 
however,  the  object  of  the  treaty  was  to  preserve  the  independence  of 
Korea  and  Japan  and  to  protect  Eastern  Asia  from  Russia’s  aggression. 

Korea,  in  return  for  Japan’s  friendship  and  protection  against  Russia, 
has  rendered  services  to  the  Japanese  by  permitting  them  to  use  the 
country  as  a base  of  their  military  operations. 

When  this  treaty  was  concluded,  the  iCoreans  fully  expected  that 
Japan  would  introduce  reforms  into  the  governmental  administration 
along  the  line  of  the  modern  civilisation  of  Europe  and  America,  and 
that  she  would  advise  and  counsel  our  people  in  a friendly  manner,  but 
to  our  disappointment  and  regret  the  Japanese  Government  has  not 
done  a single  thing  in  the  way  of  improving  the  condition  of  the  Korean 
people.  On  the  contrary,  she  turned  loose  several  thousand  rough  and 
disorderly  men  of  her  nationals  in  Korea,  who  are  treating  the  inoffen- 
sive Koreans  in  a most  outrageous  manner.  The  Koreans  are  by  nature 
not  a quarrelsome  or  aggressive  people,  but  deeply  resent  the  high- 
handed action  of  the  Japanese  towards  them.  We  can  scarcely  believe 
that  the  Japanese  Government  approves  the  outrages  committed  by  its 


312 


APPENDICES 


people  in  Korea,  but  it  has  done  nothing  to  prevent  this  state  of 
affairs.  They  have  been,  during  the  last  eighteen  months,  forcibly 
obtaining  all  the  special  privileges  and  concessions  from  our  Govern- 
ment, so  that  to-day  they  practically  own  everything  that  is  worth 
having  in  Korea. 

We,  the  common  people  of  Korea,  have  lost  confidence  in  the 
promises  Japan  made  at  the  time  of  concluding  the  treaty  of  alliance, 
and  we  doubt  seriously  the  good  intentions  which  she  professes  to  have 
towards  our  people.  For  geographical,  racial,  and  commercial  reasons 
we  want  to  be  friendly  to  Japan,  and  we  are  even  willing  to  have  her  as 
our  guide  and  example  in  the  matters  of  internal  reforms  and  education, 
but  the  continuous  policy  of  self-exploitation  at  the  expense  of  the 
Koreans  has  shaken  our  confidence  in  her,  and  we  are  now  afraid  that 
she  will  not  keep  her  promise  of  preserving  our  independence  as  a 
nation,  nor  assisting  us  in  reforming  internal  administration.  In  other 
words,  her  policy  in  Korea  seems  to  be  exactly  the  same  as  that  of 
Russia  prior  to  the  war. 

The  United  States  has  many  interests  in  our  country.  The  industrial, 
commercial,  and  religious  enterprises  under  American  management, 
have  attained  such  proportions  that  we  believe  the  Government  and 
people  of  the  United  States  ought  to  know  the  true  conditions  of  Korea 
and  the  result  of  the  Japanese  becoming  paramount  in  our  country. 
We  know  that  the  people  of  America  love  fair  play  and  advocate 
justice  towards  all  men.  We  also  know  that  your  Excellency  is  the 
ardent  exponent  of  a square  deal  between  individuals  as  well  as 
nations,  therefore  we  come  to  you  with  this  memorial  with  the  hope 
that  Your  Excellency  may  help  our  country  at  this  critical  period  of  our 
national  life. 

We  fully  appreciate  the  fact  that  during  the  conference  between  the 
Russian  and  Japanese  peace  envoys,  Your  Excellency  may  not  care  to 
make  any  suggestion  to  either  party  as  to  the  conditions  of  their  settle- 
ment, but  we  earnestly  hope  that  Your  Excellency  will  see  to  it  that 
Korea  may  preserve  her  autonomous  Government  and  that  other 
Powers  shall  not  oppress  or  maltreat  our  people.  The  clause  in  the 
treaty  between  the  United  States  and  Korea  gives  us  a claim  upon 
the  United  States  for  assistance,  and  this  is  the  time  when  we  need 
it  most. 

Very  respectfully, 

Your  obedient  servants, 

P.  K.  Yoon. 

Syngman  Rhee. 


UNWIN  BROTHERS,  LIMITED,  THE  GRESHAM  PRESS,  WOKING  AND  LONDON.